Australia in India 2012-13

Doherty, Henriques in Test squad for India

Brydon Coverdale

January 31, 2013

Comments: 275 | Text size: A | A

Xavier Doherty sends down a delivery during his first day of Test cricket, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day, November 25, 2010
Xavier Doherty might get another chance at Test cricket © AFP
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Australia have confirmed a 17-man squad for their upcoming four-Test tour of India with the allrounders Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell the only two uncapped members of the group. The touring party also includes Steven Smith and Xavier Doherty, neither of whom has played Test cricket since their cameo roles in the 2010-11 Ashes debacle, along with Usman Khawaja as a potential No.6 and a five-man pace-bowling group.

James Pattinson is back in the mix after making his Sheffield Shield return last week following two months on the sidelines due to a rib/side injury and will form the pace corps along with Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird. The veteran Ben Hilfenhaus, who has not played since breaking down during the Hobart Test in December, was not selected, and nor was Steve O'Keefe, the leading spinner in the Sheffield Shield this summer.

The large squad is an attempt to cover all bases as the Australians acclimatise to life without both Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, and with Shane Watson having given up the idea of being an allrounder for the time being. Now a specialist batsman, Watson is likely to slot straight back into the top order for the first Test in Chennai on February 22 after sitting out of international cricket since re-injuring his calf during the Boxing Day Test.

"It is a large squad and we felt as though we needed that for flexibility," John Inverarity, the national selector, said. "We're certainly looking for a right-arm finger-spinner and a left-arm finger-spinner. Xavier [Doherty] has been bowling very well lately. The four contenders for that position [were] Jon Holland, Michael Beer, Xavier Doherty and Stephen O'Keefe. Two of those [Holland and Beer] are injured and we preferred Xavier Doherty to Stephen O'Keefe."

The presence of Maxwell and Smith also provides the option of allrounders who can bowl offspin or legspin respectively, although Smith has hardly bowled this Sheffield Shield season and has been included largely as a backup batsman. Smith, who is still only 23, played five Tests in 2010 and 2011 but struggled to justify his inclusion as either a batsman or bowler, but Inverarity said he had been impressed by the development of Smith's batting.

"Steve Smith has matured a lot," Inverarity said. "A lot of his play this year he has played especially well, although he hasn't gone through to the big scores. His score [of 72] just recently in the Shield match was very good against Western Australia in Sydney. We see him as a young player of the future, enormous potential and one thing in particular in his favour is he uses his feet really well and plays spin bowling really well. He will be there as a backup batsman and certainly to gain experience. We're really hoping that he's one of the players who comes through in the next couple of years."

Another man who fits that category is Henriques, who won his position thanks to Watson's decision to concentrate on his batting. The selectors were keen to include a seam-bowling allrounder and injuries to Mitchell Marsh and Andrew McDonald, and a disappointing summer for Daniel Christian, left Henriques, who has averaged 77 with the bat and with the ball this Sheffield Shield season, as the leading candidate.

"It's a very good test for him," Inverarity said. "We feel there's a great need to have an allrounder there and Moises is a young cricketer of terrific potential. We're hoping he really comes though. He's got a lot of talent and we're hoping that being around the Australian group brings out the best in him."

The balance of Australia's side for the four Tests in India will depend on how the selectors decide to structure the attack, and while Inverarity said they were keen to have five bowling options in a match, he also indicated Usman Khawaja had a strong chance of playing the first Test in Chennai.

"Usman is very much to the fore of our thinking," Inverarity said. "I was in Canberra the other day when he got 69 [for the Prime Minister's XI] against the West Indies and played really well. I think Usman is a very good chance of being in the first Test team."

Inverarity is also confident that David Warner will be part of that side in Chennai, despite suffering a fractured thumb after being hit by Johnson in the WACA nets on Wednesday while training ahead of the first ODI against West Indies. It appears unlikely that Warner will take any part in the one-day series, although Inverarity said he was expected to be fit for the Tests in India.

"The chances are very good," Inverarity said. "The early indication is it's a slight fracture. The indications are he'll certainly be okay for the Test starting on the 22nd of February, and what we're looking to do is during the next couple of days get more feedback as to exactly when he'll be able to come back ... But I'd say the chances are that it's unlikely that he'll be playing the ODIs at this stage."

Some members of the Test squad will fly to India while the West Indies limited-overs series is still on, in order to better prepare them for the Indian conditions. The trip begins with two warm-up games in Chennai on February 12-13 and February 16-18. Splitting the squad is required because the West Indies series does not finish until February 13, when the teams play a Twenty20 in Brisbane.

Squad David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Lyon.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (February 2, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

Unless Clarke manages to score 500+ runs and take 10+ wickets himself in the series, I do not see how Aus can even win a single test in India with the team that they have.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 2, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@landl47. I can sort of understand your pov re: Henriques, but believe me, having watched his career from 17 years of age, this guy has talent with the bat, he simply has not delivered. His bowling is more than useful, the thinking for him for India I would suggest, would be his bowling on the SCG wicket, a wicket similar to the subcontinent. Watching him bat this season has been a revelation, he has a solid technique, applies himself well, and hopefully, that inner quality in class batsmen has finally "clicked". He is up to a #6 spot in tests, as well as a back-up seamer, no doubt in my mind.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 2, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Xavier Doherty...The Aussie selectors have tried quantity over quality for sure.

Posted by Marko12 on (February 2, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

I just hope Australia pick the players to do well n India, and not necessarily the so called best XI. If you don't play to the conditions in India you're basically wasting your time. This is where good selectors come into play.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 1, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

@ygkd. re:comparison Maxwell with Harvey. There is none! Agree with you, Harvey was way ahead, but for the short form, Maxwell suits & would be amongst the first picked. I am already cringing at the thought if he ever plays tests.

Posted by landl47 on (February 1, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

@Chris_P: I agree with you; I'd have picked O'Keefe myself, but I'd have picked him instead of Henriques. I don't know what the thinking is on Henriques; the selectors don't seem to regard him as a front-line seam bowler, since they have picked no fewer than 5 front-line seamers. However, he's nowhere near being worth a place as a batsman. Despite some good form this season, his career FC average is still under 30. It therefore appears that the selectors didn't feel he was worth his place either as a batsman or as a bowler, but took him because he can do a bit of each.

The team as selected has two front-line spinners, neither of whom bat, and only Maxwell and Clarke himself as viable alternatives (Warner shouldn't be given more than the odd surprise over). It's been shown that two spinners are necessary in the subcontinent and one who can bat a bit would be useful. O'Keefe, who has genuine credentials as a spinner, would be a better fit than Henriques in my opinion.

Posted by ygkd on (February 1, 2013, 21:35 GMT)

I see that Prof Deano has likened Maxwell to Ian Harvey. There is one difference that I can see - Harvey did more than enough to be selected for Tests but never was. He also missed a WC he could have gone to. Maxwell hasn't done much at all yet beyond T20s with the ball and mostly T20-style batting too. Maybe Dean Jones will be right, but I can't see it.

Posted by ygkd on (February 1, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

@Meety - your left-handed team looks like a portent of the future. Once upon a time a few true lefties in a team were de rigeur, now you're struggling to find a right-handed batsman who hasn't swapped like Clarke. And that's fair enough, dedicated right-handed players are so rubbish - like Warne, McGrath, the Waughs, Ponting, Lee, Healy..... Seriously, I think Australia is heading too far down the track of this batting swap-handedness. That said, Chris Rogers I think is a right to left swap-hander and he doesn't get a run. Steve O'Keefe is another swap-hander (l to r) who doesn't get a go. Perhaps, for their sakes, we should forget the leftie team and just have a swap-hander one? How about Clarke, Warner, Finch, Khawaja, Voges, Wade, Faulkener, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Behrendorff, & M.Hussey out of retirement and, thus, out of the commentary box! The other point I could make - Warner for captain - is that perchance a left-field choice? After all, the baseball analogy fits him so well!

Posted by Big-Dog on (February 1, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

Regarding the Doherty v O'keefe debate. Everyone should take note of the post from Unexcitable on 31/1/ to get a true picture.

Posted by   on (February 1, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

the squad selected by Aussies is an excellent one .It would be interesting to know the reasons for their preferring Doherty to O'Keefe. Best of Luck Team Australia.

Posted by swat1999 on (February 1, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Good selection. Strong enough to beat India by 2-0

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 1, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter: "I'd like to address the Doherty vs O'Keefe debate."

Yes, why not: One had his career massacred by England's Cook and co, and bowls Darts, the other just bowls darts. Oh the agony of choice...

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 1, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

@Shaggy076, I beg to differ on some of your comments firstly, aznfratboy says Eng are strong, which in tests terms I believe we still are. There is no misconception among Eng fans at least, about us being great. The current SAF team is without doubt the best in the world right now their series wins in Eng & Aus last yr proved that. In terms of the personnel don't you mean Swann & Panesar were good in Ind? they were also pretty good in UAE (albeit in a loosing cause) & GS was also pretty darn good in SRL too. As for Anderson yes his ave in the last 18 mths is around 30 but more than half of his games have been in tough asian conditions.

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter on (February 01 2013, 12:22 PM GMT) - i've said before, the only blip on SO'Ks bowling record (before the start of the season), his average balls per match was half of other lead spinners. In fact maxwell bowled more balls per FC match than SO'K. IMO - SO'K should never be lined up directly against Maxwell, as Maxwell is a batting allrounder, SO'K is a bowling allrounder. That said, I wouldn't really take much consideration of T20 performance in looking at a bowlers Test credentials. At one point in time (a few years back), SO'K was the 3rd choice spinner in games, behind Smith & Hauritz, so that may explain his low average work rate.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 1, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

I'd like to address the Doherty vs O'Keefe debate. Firstly, Doherty is a specialist bowler while O'Keefe is an all rounder - notable by the fact that he opened the batting regularly in the big bash and hardly bowled. All rounders with good bowling averages aren't quite as impressive as those that bowl all of the time with the same kind of record. Furthermore, O'Keefe is yet to have any real international experience - he had all of 7 T20s 2 years ago and then that was it. He did okay, but he only took 6 wickets - less than 1 per match - and, in other words, was less useful than the average bowler. He also didn't bat particularly well in those 7 T20s, averaging just 6.40. Now, I am a big fan of O'Keefe and I'd love to see him given more chances at international level. I much prefer him to Glenn Maxwell. But that is who he is competing with - Maxwell. And Maxwell has a better FC record than O'Keefe - plus he has international experience. Plus Doherty is good in the subcontinent.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

Meety - Sorry to pick more flaws in your left atm everything team but I believe both Beer and Faulkner bat right handed as well.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

aznfratboy1- Firstly Forrest is barely averaging 10 at shield cricket this year. I have a contention with your point "Engalnd is strong" - have a look at what they acheieved in the last 18 months. Cook has been very good, Panesar and Swann played well in England. Pietersen and Trott has occasionally been good and ANderson has plugged away with a bowling average of 30. I think there is a massive misconception out there that the current England side is a great side. They dont lay claim to any of the talent that South Africa has to offer, and Australia competed very well with that South African side. Australia on the other hand Clarke has been exceptional, Siddle, Pattinson, Johnson, Starc, Bird have made a fantastic bowling attack. Warner has been good. Then you have guys like Hughes and Khawaja who are now ready to perform on the big stage.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 1, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Where is Marcus North????I guess, he can also roll over his arm. Still remember famous editorial lines of 'Times of India' newspaper quoting "Marcus North bowling crucial final overs,Australian chances of winning the test gone South" during the famous 2nd Ashes test of 2005(The test was drawn ultimately).

Posted by bandesha87 on (February 1, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

My Teams...... AUS,,,1-D.warner 2-Ed cown 3-P.hughes 4-S.watson 5-M.clarke 6-M.wade 7-G.maxwell 8-M.johnson 9.M.starc 10-P.siddle 11.X.doherty

IND,,,,1/2-V.sehwag/G.gambhir/A.rahane 3-C.pujara 4-S.tendulkar 5-V.kohli 6-M.dhoni 7-Abishek nayar/R.jadeja 8-R.ashwin 9-B.kumar 10.I.sharma 11-P.ojha

Posted by bemUSed2 on (February 1, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

Doherty is clearly a bad choice... Tests are won by wicket taking bowlers and Doherty is a defensive bowler who gets wickets in ODIs and T20s because the batsmen attack him... Smith and Henriques have potential and performances to suggest they are in decent form for this tour but realistically I doubt Smith has the class to be a Test match player... But many Test players have come back from being dropped early in their careers and forged marvelllous records... S Waugh

Posted by aznfratboy1 on (February 1, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Weakest Aussie side in a long while. They've got to look long term, ie. the two Ashes tours. England is strong, and this side doesn't look like it could defeat that English side. Cowan hasn't proved enough with his opportunities, how fragile is Watson? So two of your top five are fairly iffy. Add to that the fact that your #6 batsman will either be Khawaja (haven't seen him recently, but I've heard his form is apparently good), or one of the all-rounders, Smith, Maxwell or Moses. Granted, they've done well in ODIs/T20s, they really haven't shown enough to be a solid #6 Test batsman, nor a #7 for that matter. None of them could be a front four bowler, and I wouldn't have them anywhere near my top 4 bat, so why are they selected?

I seem to remember a guy named Peter Forrest, he impressed me a while back, as a good middle order batsman for a test environment, why hasn't he been called? Haddin's in good form isn't he? He can slot in at #6, he doesn't HAVE to keep, he can field at slips...

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

@Wefinishthis on (February 01 2013, 06:12 AM GMT) - the consistancy is - you slotted him in as an opener, with an ave of 42, which is not reflective of what he is in that position after a couple of games. I am a fan of Burns & expect him to play for Oz one day if selectors ever get around to selecting QLD born & bred players. Whilst I don't disagree with your summation that "...selectors aren't rewarding past performances..." - I do disagree with how you went about it. With the exception of Rogers & DHussey & to a certain extent SO'K (given SO'K has played for Oz A), all the players you selected HAVE been considered by the NSP on some level or are too raw to select. Burns on the A-tour of England, Harris is highly regarded but injured, (IMO AB Mac would NOT of been selected by the NSP, but is injured & moot). Your arguement would of been a million times better had you named a realistic (uninjured) alternate squad & used comparable & correct stats.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Meety - Challenge accepted on right hand everything my team Watson, Klinger, Bailey, Burns, Fergusson, Christian, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Lyon, Bird 12th Hilfenhaus, 13th Henriques, 14th D Hussey, 15th Cutting, 16th S Smith spare keeper T Paine

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

Rightarm everything- You forgot to mention Wade and Quiney cant bowl in Meety's squad either as we have seen them bowl right arm. Also pretty sure Cowan, Rogers, Khawaja and Hughes all throw right hand and I would imagine they would bowl right hand as well.

Posted by xylo on (February 1, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

It is pretty evident that there is a dearth of talent in almost all countries except maybe South Africa, and thereby England.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (February 1, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

Meety - It proves that the selectors aren't rewarding past performances (which is what the numbers are evidence of) as recommended by the Argus review and that instead they are basing their decisions off gut feelings. It's a fair point that you and Shaggy076 make re: not picking players who have only played 1 game. I'm fine with that, I could easily find replacements and it doesn't alter my point at all. One question though, after pointing that out, you then go and dismiss Burns after failing in a position after 2 games? Where's the consistency in that?

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

@RightArmEverything on (February 01 2013, 05:21 AM GMT) - um yes! So I s'pose Clarke can captain the RH side! @Chris_P on (February 01 2013, 04:55 AM GMT) - true re: Zaheer, although his mode of delivery is completely different. I'd love to see Copeland get a go, but as you said, he is probably behind about 9 others!

Posted by ygkd on (February 1, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

We can only hope that Mitchell Johnson gets to bowl to Steve Smith in the nets so that justice to Steve O'Keefe can be served by a belated selection, due to another hand injury.

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Ahhhhhh! 4, Dot, 4, 4, 6 - I'm a believer! Yes of course Maxwell should tour India!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by RightArmEverything on (February 1, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

I was previously thinking that D Hussey should be on tour (although wasn't expecting it) but having looked at his batting stats this season he's not in great form. Have to say, I'm usually more likely to defend the selectors against the usual bashing they get but I'm genuinely disappointed with their approach to picking this squad. @Meety, I take it North and Warner are not allowed to bowl in your left arm squad.

Posted by Chris_P on (February 1, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

@Meety. Lack of pace us not a great issue over there as Zak has been a consistent performer bowling at 130 or thereabouts. Lack of pace is a big factor over here though. Agree Doolan hasn't been playing much, but not his fault, and he has been the most consistent and after seeing him bat for Aust A, definitely one to watch.

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

@RightArmEverything on (February 01 2013, 04:19 AM GMT) - given the 3 specialist left arm seamers in the ODI v WIndies, I'll pick a left hand Oz team for India. 1. Cowan, 2. Rogers, 3. Hughes, 4. Warner (c), 5. Khawaja, 6. Wade (wk), 7. O'Keefe (vc), 8. Faulkner, 9. MJ, 10. Starc, 11. Doherty 12th: Putland, 13th Quinney, 14th North, 15th Whiteman (res W/k), 16th Bollinger 17th Beer (I wanted young Berhendorff but he bats right handed). So this side is Left arm everything! I would be hard pressed selecting a RH everything (Clarke bowls left handed!)

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 31 2013, 23:44 PM GMT) - re: Doolan. He WAS an in-form player, but unfortunately due to the scheduling (& Brisbane weather), he hasn't played a meaningful game in 2 months. That innings against the Saffas - IMO has earmarked as a future Test player, but I'd just like to see him finish the season (as well he started it), & maybe get a ticket to England.

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

@Wefinishthis on (February 01 2013, 00:43 AM GMT) - That maybe so (your proviso) but you also said "...Cricket is a game of numbers..." & "...On average, my team scores 527 and concedes 224 every innings..." & "...Pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with our selection policies..." None of which really sheds any light on anything, the fact is though, that regardless of opposition or conditions, using players who have ONE Shield match is useless. They could never be expected to outperform the squad selected, regardless of whether we like the squad or not. Other holes include AB Mac is injured - so irrelevant, Harris is on the come-back trail & hasn't played a listed game since May 2012, Burns is not an opener, he has played about 2 games in that position & failed. You did ask for us to compare......

You also failed to get their stats correct, I would love Ferguson to average 41 somewhere (I assume you could not possibly be using his ODI stats).

Posted by RightArmEverything on (February 1, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

If the 'flexibility' in the squad is a focus specifically for this tour I don't mind that, given that Watson won't be bowling. Not sure Henriques would be in the squad otherwise, although his season batting figures are better than I thought - in 7 inns, 1 x 100 and 3 x 50. I hope it's not something they will carry through to the Ashes though, I don't think Wade is a long term no.6 option, especially given his recent keeping has not been great. I don't think Maxwell deserves a spot yet. Warner's and Clarke's bowling is underused - in Clarke's case I can understand that given his long term and recent injuries - if fit they can support front-line spinners just as good as Maxwell I think. I'd rather have seen O'Keefe in there instead of Doherty, despite O'Keefe only having 9 wickets for the season prior to his 8 wickets v WA in the last FC game. I don't have much confidence in Smith at national level and think Doolan is unlucky not to be on the tour.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

Wefinishthis - You use first clss stats on one-side and test stats on the other, barely a fair comparision. I would imagine the test team average runs will increase around 100 for first class innings and the opposition would also decreas.You would be better to take Pattinson out of the other team altogether, as that is just stupid including someone who played one game and cant get a game for his state.

Posted by Andrew202 on (February 1, 2013, 3:11 GMT)

The selectors had mostly lost me already but with the selection of Doherty as back-up test spinner they've completely lost me. Doherty's first class record is terrible. There is absolutely no indication anywhere that he deserves an opportunity to play test cricket again. And some of the players he's picked ahead of are better.

Like someone said, it feels like Hilditch and co. are back.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (February 1, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

I havent lost faith in the selectors, although I dont reckon Smith, Henriques and Maxwell really deserve to go, there is not a lot of choice out there. You can argue for and against at least a dozen players. However, I think these guys are more than capable to perform against the current Indian side. I also think Doherty will go ok - However stats wise this year O Keefe has to be the unluckiest player not to make this squad.

Posted by chicko_1290 on (February 1, 2013, 2:08 GMT)

Hey guys you forgot Cameron White and Marcus North. If you are going to pick rubbish you should go all out.

Posted by jizzmaster on (February 1, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

What a farce the Australian team has become. Sure, there are not the standout players in the Shield but the selectors have been poor and inconsistent. A few months ago Watson was told there was no place for him if he couldn't bowl, now playing as only as a batsman. Quiney dropped and forgotten after only 3 innings. No backup batsman despite flaky top order. Insecure wicketkeeper. 4 spinners (do we really need 4 mediocre spinners!?) and the spinner who has taken the most wickets left at home. Too much emphasis on allrounders. This has been the problem since 2005 when Aus tried to find the next Andrew Flintoff. In the last test against Sri Lanka they could have done some preparation for this series but instead decided to go with 4 quicks. Australia also missed a trick not trying Clarke at a higher position for the Sri Lanka series.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 1, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

My squad of 17, for the record: David Warner, Shane Watson, David Hussey, George Bailey, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Steve O'Keefe, Dan Christian or James Faulkner (bit of a toss up there), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Alistair McDermott, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Lyon. It isn't what I would have for my 17 but my 17 isn't too much different really.

Posted by threeheadedmonkey on (February 1, 2013, 1:43 GMT)

Someone please tell me why they like Maxwell and Smith so much? Seriously these guys have done nothing and have no where near the right technique to survive as more then a tail ender in test cricket and neither are any where near specialist bowlers? Really think O'Keefe is the guy we should be looking at, he can actually take wickets and isn't as dynamic a run scorer but has actual technique and temperament to be dependable. Our selectors are a joke

Posted by Meety on (February 1, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

@ Chris_P on (January 31 2013, 21:06 PM GMT) - re: Copeland. I think he would be brilliant in England conditions & a great foil (particularly if conditions dictate a 4-man pace attack). Whilst I agree with your point about him doing well on flat pitches, I am not sure if his lack of speed would be an asset or a hindrance in India?

Posted by Wefinishthis on (February 1, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

Meety - You often seem to miss my provisos such as when I said that the numbers "don't always account for conditions and quality of opposition" amongst other things I've written before so I'm certain that you know that I'm well aware of the limitations. The point was to prove that a full team limited to players not in the squad could have been selected that would statistically perform better than the side chosen and explain why Australia are no longer no.1. Unfortunately the character limit didn't allow me to go into more detail to improve accuracy so it was always going to be a rough guide. Thanks for pointing out the flaws, but even accounting for changing Ferguson and Maxwell's ODI avg's to FC and giving KP a more conservative batting average of 41 (he would have to score 3 ducks in a row to average that) and Zampa a conservative 30, we still end up with my team with 400 and 245 against, whilst Australia scores 371 and concedes 310. Still nowhere near good enough to be no.1.

Posted by crh8971 on (February 1, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

I have lost all faith in Inverarity. This is back to the worst days of Hilditch. It appears that actual results in first class cricket don't count for much these days. I would like someone in the media to ask Inverarity how he would explain to O'Keefe and Doolan as to why Doherty and Smith were selected ahead of them. I am sure he would trot out that old line that they are close and they just have to keep doing what they are doing. Making statements like Doherty has improved as a long form bowler? Where is the evidence? 2 wickets at 80 for the season. My squad would have been Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Kawahja, Clarke, Doolan, Wade, Henriques, O'Keefe, Lyon, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Johnson, Bird & Maxwell ( just). No place for Watson ( has failed with the bat for two years and will be leaving mid tour anyway), Smith (if he has so much potential why can't he make a shield hundred?) and Doherty (just has no first class form ever that warrants selection.

Posted by Moppa on (January 31, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

With a squad of 17 there are many many permutations. Limiting myself to the selectors' squad, the first Test team will either be: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson/Khawaja, Wade, Henriques, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Doherty or Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Wade, Johnson/Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon Maxwell has to be treated as a batting all-rounder and therefore is NOT a substitute for Lyon or Doherty. However, there is a danger that the selectors will go: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson/Khawaja, Wade, Maxwell, Johnson/Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon - which I think is the weakest realistic team. I think Henriques will play if they play two spinners, to give a seam bowling back-up (e.g. in case of injury). With unlimited choice my team would be Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja/D.Hussey, Wade, Henriques, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon. Overall though, I think it is a weak squad with Doherty, Smith and Maxwell far inferior to O'Keefe, D.Hussey etc

Posted by Chris_P on (January 31, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

@Meety, SOK AND Doolan are the 2 form players omitted, so I am as puzzled as you, but as I said, it didn't surprise me about SOK. They have disregarded him for so long to date, & Patto will have to get that reverse swing going to be effective, but can't really fault their selection for him although I am partial to Copeland over there.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 31, 2013, 23:40 GMT)

For those who raise their doubts about Henriques & Stephen Smith. First of all, go check the Australian fc stats. Henriques is averaging 65 with the bat & 20.28 with the ball, how does this not rate good enough to be considered? As for Smith, he has obviously worked on his technique & having seen him a few times this season, he has looked a far better deal than previously, his fc figures back this up as well averaging 40.33.His bowling is not a consideration as it is very much WIP. Having said that, Doolan would have to be considered more unlucky than SOK averaging 81 & being the form batsmen in the shield. Maxwell, as I have stated many times before is NOT a frontline spinner & is certainly not in the top 10 batsmen in fc cricket in Australia so his selection is really puzzling. Good one day player but fc?

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 31, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

The other thing to remember is that we know that the Indians will prepare rank turners, and that will make Lyon (and maybe even the X man) a lot more effective. Remember Lyon in the first test vs SL when they threw down a dustbowl? After all, as far as I'm aware, India doesn't have any great spinners either. In the end, there's only 11 players who are going to take the field, and I think the core group is good enough to win.

Posted by handyandy on (January 31, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

Seventeen players and no reserve keeper?

Not sure I would have Smith in the side and would prefer O'Keefe to Doherty.

It sounds to me that in lieu of top line spinners the selectors intend to pack the team with spinning all rounders.

Posted by Slysta on (January 31, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

Don't know what to make of this squad. On the one hand, 2 months ago we told Watson that if he couldn't bowl, he wouldn't play (and that was correct IMO). Now, apparently, it is OK. And maybe it is, because if Smith (who doesn't bowl either) is the reserve batsman then plainly the cupboard is much barer than any of us thought. Why Maxwell, and the ongoing love affair with bits-and-pieces players? You wouldn't seriously consider him as either a batsman or as a bowler... so why? O'Keefe should have been selected instead, alongside Doherty, and let them duke it out. After Doherty's lack of answers in the last Ashes series, we might be glad to have another left-armer (and one that can bat) to call on if things head south mid-series. But well done to Moises Henriques, great to see him picked on form, and I really hope he gets a debut at some point.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 31, 2013, 23:23 GMT)

Actually it's a good team. People are focusing too much on fringe players like Smith and Doherty, who won't play any major part in the series anyway. This is pretty much the same core group of players who have done extremely well over the last couple of seasons under great leadership from Clarke, and there's no reason to believe they won't keep performing well. I've bookmarked this page, and will return to collect quotes after the Indian tour. :-) Should be fun. @FFL, you better take a look at your diet. That hissing, snarling sound coming from your mouth is getting worse. Must be painful to live like that.

Posted by Red_Drag0n on (January 31, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

I reckon Nathan Lyon will make a massive impact in Indian tracks. Can't wait for the series to kick off on 22nd Feb.

Posted by lesamourai on (January 31, 2013, 21:43 GMT)

Doherty: 1st class bowling: 119 wickets at 44.78 (!!) with six 4w/5w hauls. Test bowling: 3 wickets at 102. 1st class batting: 874 runs at 13.44 with two 50s.

O'Keefe: 1st class bowling: 78 wickets at 27.33 with eight 4w/5w hauls. 1st class batting: 954 runs at 31.80 with six 50s.

Plus Doherty is a clown in the field and O'Keefe is electric. As the objective of the selectors clearly isn't to select the best spinner for India and win. I wonder what it is?

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 31, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: Clarke bats at 5 and is now capable of batting for such lengthy periods that he faces the new ball at least once, and faces the opening bowlers fresh as he bats until stumps.

Not even a decent attempt to undermine 2012's best batsman (by an absolute mile).

The rest of your post, albeit typically dramatic and over-the-top, I actually agree with.

But the fact of the matter is no matter what side was released you would have posted on here lamenting how poor it was. This is where your comments fall down.

I think Aus chose the wrong spinner, and picked Smith and Henrqiues ahead of time. Maxwell is not a test-standard all-rounder.

Our pace looks good, however pace in India has been tough on more experienced players, so that will be difficult.

India have their problems also, but I think they will take the series.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 31, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

@@landl47 I am very much in favour for "horses for courses" selections & while agree with your point, the fact that SOK missed out given not only his fc figures but he mostly bowls on flat turning pitches (& succeeds) is a little hard to digest. Hentiques's selection doesn't surprise me, but the fact he has had success on the same type of wickets as SOK gives some encouragement for his selection over in India. Maxwell, given the few occasions I have seen him bowl at the SCG, is way behind plenty of other spinners & (IMHO) will be feasted on by the Indian batsmen if selected. Trent Copeland, who is probably behind 8 or 9 guys in Australian conditions would have been a good selection given his success at the SCG & in Sri Lanka last season.

Posted by Markus971 on (January 31, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

@ FFLunge Anything posiive in ur life!... Phil Hughes is the Real Deal! With M.Clarke & if S.Watson & M.Johnson can keep there heads on straight.. this next 2 or 3 yrs can b very good for Australian cricket.

Posted by disco_bob on (January 31, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

@KallisTheGreatest (AKA TommyTuckerSaffer) and BradmanTheGreatest (AKA Front Foot Lunge)) You are the same persons and I claim my five quid.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (January 31, 2013, 20:30 GMT)

A weak batting line up with one class batsman, a dodgy keeper, dreadful spinners, bits and pieces all rounders, injury prone seamers and Mitchell Johnson! A chocolate teapot inspires more confidence than that bunch of substandard nobodies.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 31, 2013, 19:34 GMT)

Those posters trying to make the best of the squad haven't seen that they won't be able to play 6 batsmen + Wade. When Watto returns after the second test, that will become obvious. However, given the selection of Smith it is evident that Wade will bat at 6 with either he, Maxwell or Henriques at 7. Now all I can think is that if Maxwell plays then Lyon doesn't or why have him rather than Smith (who allegedly bowls leg-breaks) support the sole spinner. You can't have 2 off-spinners and omit those who turn itn in the other direction (Smith and Doherty). This selection is a sure fire recipe for failure before they even leave Oz not because of one or two odd selections, but because of the muddled thinking which is reflected in their strategic planning ahead of the actual games. And Arthur talks of managing resources! A classic case of pre-determining a faulty strategy and then trying to justify it by talking up your doomed selections prior to play. And all this before an Ashes series!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 31, 2013, 19:18 GMT)

What a pathetically weak Australian side. Doherty must have a doppelganger, because the last one was surely dropped after Cook and co massacred him in the Ashes. Clarke continues to hide down at 6, away from a seaming or swinging ball. They are still using a seamer (Lyon) to fill the spinners role, and the less said about the rest the better. At least they got rid of Phil Hughes....Oh wait. This Australian team has got to be a joke, please release the actual one CA.

Posted by fguy on (January 31, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

reading the comments of aussie fans here it feels like their selectors are as blind/out of touch as our indian selectors. lol. i mean for the life of me i cant understand how sehwag/gambhir/ashwin are included match after match even after years of failure. maybe the sides should be picked through public voting on the internet. (am only half joking. i'm pretty sure us fans will do a much better job)

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 31, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

good luck to Australia.It must be good to have such strong batting and bowling options. They are a world class team and will be number 1 in the world by the end of next week.LOL

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 31, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

@Wix99, I think you raise a good point regarding Watson's fitness issues. Although some oz fans think he shouldn't be in the side if he can't bowl I think oz probably need his experience in the batting unit and even if he isn't bowling, there still must be doubts as to if his body can hold up over 4 tests in 5 weeks.

Posted by johnal on (January 31, 2013, 18:31 GMT)

good squad for the indian tour.happy for usman khawaja. moises henriques.good bowling unit will surely test the young indian batsmenim sure micheal clarke will score alot of runs. david warner knows the conditions having played in the ipl.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 31, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

This is an AVERAGE Australian team and one which India should confidently look to beat. This Australian team is light years below the England team on both paper and class. No world class spinners, a bunch of fast bowlers who will drop like 9 pins in the Indian heat and humidity, batsmen with poor techniques against spin etc. As an Indian fan, I am really confident India have finally a profound chance to beat these guys and gain some good test match form. It's a 4 match series so I feel India will edge it 2-1 or 1-0. India could also lose but it would be highly unlikely given Australia have no Monty or Swann on those turners.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 31, 2013, 18:23 GMT)

I'm still not sure how Khawalja gets in this team if Warner is passed fit. The OP seems to suggest Watson will open but I suspect he will remain at 4 if DW plays as I think Aus will feel they need another experienced batsman in the middle order with Clarke. I'm pretty sure they will look to bat Wade at 6 & I can see Maxwell playing as the second spinner & batting at 7. I'm guessing Henriques could come in at 7 later in the series if they feel they need the 2nd frontline spinner. Possible team for 1st test, Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Watson,Clarke,Wade,Maxwell,Starc,Siddle,Pattinson,Lyon. I'm still far from convinced that Aus can win this series playing 3 quicks, having said that Ind batsman are brought up on spin and Aus lack of quality in this department won't be causing them any sleepless nights.

Posted by Fareen on (January 31, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

I can't believe Australia has chosen henriques and smith for test matches...that in India where they seldom play well. And I thought M. Beer did enough to find a place in the squad. With the worries with aussie batting, they should have picked the likes of d.hussey/c.ferguson/a.doolan rather than so many allrounders.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 31, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

A question arises is this Aussies B or C side if Warner does not recover in time. Michael Hussy not being there this batting line up will crumble easily unless Clarke hits a purple patch.A lop sided series is in the making no doubt. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by Jason_Mcphee on (January 31, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

This side is good enough to bang India in their backyard. Go Aussies go, beat them 4-0 again.

Posted by SaadRocx on (January 31, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Moises Henriques is a T20 Player...i doubt if he's able to bowl long spells in Tests,,,and he's a slog hitter too.. just an opinion..

Posted by vimal03 on (January 31, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

I don't really understand why people worried about Indian spin attack. I think Aswin is over ratted for his bowling and under estimated for his batting skills. Without Harbajan i don't think India would do a damage to AUS team.

Posted by Darshi007 on (January 31, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

My playing XI would be: (if Warner is fit)

Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Siddle, Lyon, Starc/Johnson, Pattinson.

if Warner is unfit.

Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Maxwell, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon, Starc/Pattinson.

Posted by CaptainKool on (January 31, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Warner and Watto would be the only 2 batsmen India need to take care of.

Posted by brusselslion on (January 31, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

I can't say that I've seen anything of Doherty and Smith since the last Ashes series, but they must have improved by a hell of a lot if they are now considered Test standard players. Australia probably edge it so far as the batting is concerned and definitely have the better seamers but, given that the series will probably be played on rank turners, I can't see how Australia are going to take 20 wickets. This is a poor Indian side, and they would be there for the taking, if Australia could call upon a half decent spinner (No @Jonesy, Lyon is not world class).

Posted by sharmar on (January 31, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

Australia should have sent their 'A' team to compete against India... that would be a fair contest...

Posted by brusselslion on (January 31, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

@gsingh7 on (January 31 2013, 14:21 PM GMT): Mate, don't you think that it's about time that you gave up the prediction business? In case your memory fails you, here's a reminder of your India - England predictions: Test series 4-0 India; T20s 2-0 India; ODIs 5-0 India. Don't think that I need to tell you what was the actual outcome!

Posted by beggars on (January 31, 2013, 14:22 GMT)

Australians play the hardest cricket. With this young squad they are capable of surprising INDIANS. I strongly believe Aussies will beat India coz they are eager than ever to prove a point. Credit goes to australia's domestic structure.....

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 31, 2013, 14:21 GMT)

good squad australia now all set to witness india demolish this weak backbone team and win series 4-0 , come on team blue, go for whitewash

Posted by blink182alex on (January 31, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

Not a good squad at all, if we best our best 11 we have a chance but we have no back ups with any pedigree, Doherty, Henriques, Maxwell and Smith are poor selections. In no way does this squad represent the best 17 players in Australia.

I can only hope our main players get all the runs and take all the wickets to cover the guaranteed failures of the bits and pieces players. If we are able to sneak away without somehow loosing the series in India hopefully Clarke and the rest of the selectors will have learned the lessons that these players are not good enough (we have already seen they aren't in 10-11 Ashes!) and we can actually select a proper squad for the more important Ashes series coming up.

How can Steve Smith be our back up batter? There is no way he can be thought of as being a better batting option for test cricket than Chris Rogers, Adam Voges, George Bailey or even David Hussey.

I am speechless.

Posted by indianpunter on (January 31, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

memo to australia. Make sure you play your left arm quicks ( starc, mitch). India are very vulnerable to bowlers of that ilk. This Aust team is far inferior to the english team who just left the indian shores and we could see a more evenly matched contest. Still , I cannot see india winning the series. If Gambhir opens and Ashwin still in the team, then it will be 3-1 australia

Posted by RajuallenEmanuel on (January 31, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

I love Australia's way of spotting the tallent... A guy who s scoring 50 to 70 runs in a testing condition against good team will book a place in National Squad over a guy who scores 100+ runs in a batting friendly conditions... While in India, they pick a player if he scores two or three hundreds in 3 or four outing irrespective of the conditions nd opponents, tat's y Australian's are always on top of their games in testing conditions nd India Stumbles...

Posted by whoster on (January 31, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

Things are probably going to get worse for Australia before they get better. They've had some massive setbacks in recent times - no Ponting, no Hussey, Watson no longer being a bowler, and the selectors resting and rotating players who aren't even established. Clarke has done an incredible job carrying the batting on top of his captaincy, and he'll have to carry on doing so to keep his team afloat. The Aussie selectors need to earmark the players to take them forward, and stick by them, no matter what the results in the short term. Choosing a 17-man squad hardly gives the impression that they've got much in the way of faith.

Posted by asimsiddiqui1968 on (January 31, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

no comments about the selection i think these are the best available players on australian soil. just announcing the result of test series in favor of India by 2-0.reason behind this result is bowling attack that will not create any problem to Indian batsmen (both spin and Fast). Only one bowler will leave some impact is Mitchell Starc.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 31, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Australian team seems to be good. But Iam eagerly waiting for Indian team to be announced.I hope for some matured young talents from last Renji season or some experienced like Jaffer or Kaif to add stability in the batting lineup than ODI and T20 players. There will be a new captain for sure. Will it be Gambhir or Kohli? I will not be surprised if there is a backup keeper as well.

Posted by NotU on (January 31, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Argus was a sham, how the heck does Smith get a run? At first I thought it must be a T20 ODI tour (not that he deserves a baggy yellow anyway) but no! An alrounder who can't bowl and has the Test batting technique of a farm hand, will the Blue bias never end?

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (January 31, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

India will win 4-0! India are too strong for this aussie side.

Posted by Harlequin. on (January 31, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

I can see a lot of draws coming from this tour because I can't see either team picking up wickets consistently with the bowling attacks they have. Australia should be able to nip out a couple early on with Sid & Starc using the new ball, and Indian spinners will be able to snaffle a few but don't seem to have the quality to rip through batting lineups. I'd say advantage Aussies though as they probably have the slightly better batting side, and in apparent opposition to most people here I am backing Watson to do well on these pitches: low bounce so he can plant his front foot and drive all day long.

Posted by Unexcitable on (January 31, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

[part 1...] Many of you seem to have difficulty in understanding how Doherty gets selected ahead of O'Keefe. Let me enlighten you.

The only three things armchair selectors know about Doherty are (i) he bowls darts in ODIs; (ii) he had two poor tests against England; and (iii) his career FC average is 45. Yes, they appear to be damning facts, but let's look a bit deeper.

Firstly, while his defensive bowling in OD cricket might be his main forte, his bowling in FC cricket isn't nearly as defensive. How many of you have seen him bowl in the shield?

Second, his two tests were played on possibly the two truest batting pitches Australia has rolled out for a test match in the past five years. Better bowlers would have struggled there too. Not for him a cushy debut in Galle!

Thirdly, few realise that Doherty has had two distinct stages to his FC career. He debuted at 18 (!) in 2001/02. His figures were mediocre for the next few years and after about 2006 he hardly played shield [cont...]

Posted by Unexcitable on (January 31, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

[part 2...] at all over the next few seasons. Up until the end of 08/09 he had 61 shield wickets at 57. It wasn't until part way through the 09/10 season that he won his shield place back. Since then he has taken 54 shield wickets at 26. What is more, he has been extremely consistent over the past three seasons (09/10 to 11/12), averaging 24, 28 and 26. No other spinner (O'Keefe included) has averaged <30 more than once in those three seasons. You'd think a player with that sort of recent record would be a walk-up for the test team. I guess that is what the NSP sees.

Don't get me wrong; I don't mean to have a go at O'Keefe. It's just that I want to point out that the differences between them aren't as stark as some of you would like to believe. Actually, I would have liked to see O'Keefe selected for the India tour as well. I think the Aussies will end up having to play two specialist spinners in most, if not all tests. That means that in a 17-man squad there is no specialist back-up.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 31, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

@Mitty2 I also think Uzy will do great and glad ot hear Inevarity talk positively on his hard work.@Nthuq if your read Inevarity's comments he states clearly that Khawaja will play the first test so don't think they are treating him unfarily. Based on that squad, this is how I would run the team selections. Best team: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon. Henriques: Interchangeable with Watson at 6 Maxwell: Could come in if Doherty fails and 2 spinners is the preferred option. Will be positively scared if he actually gets a bowl in a Test match. Doherty: Changeable with Lyon, but will most likely see time with both of them in the side and only 2 fast bowlers and Watson/Henriques as the allrounder Johnson and Starc: Back up for our 3 front line seamers who have all earnt their selection through performances. Hopefully we don't need them much through the tour

Posted by mzm149 on (January 31, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

@SherjilIslam: I wont complain about umpiring errors because there will be DRS in that series. I am sure my team will disappoint you :)

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 31, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

yesterday i thought the aussies would struggle with spinning options never giving steve smith even a thought for the shorter form of the game of been selected. how on earth has this guy been selected for the tests. i know us poms and certain aussie posters will banter back and forward. who on this forum hand on heart would select him. he does not bowl for his state or even the short form game. he cannot bat as hes a cross bat slogger who does not bowl. the only thing the selectors can have picked him on is his fielding which is very good for a fat boy. please let me know you aussie supporters why hes been selected. i am not going to look at the team above till tomorrow as i think its a misprint is that not so. its a joke

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 31, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

I agree with the many commentators that suggest that Steve O'Keefe should be given a shot. He did very well in the T20 competition, has a great FC record, and has been batting and bowling well. The problem is that he is really an all-rounder, not a front line bowler, and he is competing with Glenn Maxwell. While I personally think that O'Keefe is a better bowler, Maxwell has a superior FC record to O'Keefe, with a better batting average, and has had more exposure - and more recent exposure - to international level. O'Keefe is really untried at international level. Don't get me wrong, I would have picked O'Keefe ahead of Maxwell for tests too; but I think that O'Keefe needs more of an extended run at the international level first - in ODIs and T20s. It is a similar situation to why Henriques got in ahead of Faulkner. I don't think that O'Keefe was competing with Doherty as Doherty is a front line spinner, not an all rounder, and it'd be dangerous to use O'Keefe as a front liner.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 31, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

@mzm149 : Please concentrate on your own teams performance.I guess after getting a thrashing from SFFAs, you won't complain about umpiring errors.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

Wow, very hard to see how S.O.K doesn't get a game, but there you have it. We saw this squad named right here yesterday, we all hoped it was too ridiculous to be true, sadly not! It is just so hard to see the forest for the trees here. It seems like they have a team in mind, with only the 6/7 position in question. They then pick 6-7 players to fill this role and omit the one man whose form and record, as well as the destination, demand his selection. Not only are they missing the chance to select a fine player but O'Keefe would have balanced the side perfectly in terms of batting and bowling as well as being a very fine fielder. I'm in shock at such an oversight. As for Doherty, what has he done to get selected?! Including him in any xi is going to make it very hard to select a 5 man bowling attack as it just weakens the batting by too much all together, he can't field either. I don't think i've ever been so frustrated by the naming of a cricketing squad. It is laughable.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 31, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

bipulkumar - How are Australia out of sorts won our last 3 tests. Out of the last 22 we are 12 wins, 3 losses and 7 draws.

Posted by Playfair on (January 31, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

Its going to Australia's bowlers versus Indian batsman thats going to determine the series. Although Kumar, Ahmed showed some promise in the recently completed ODI series against England, India's bowling remains weak. Ishant has too many off days for my liking and with Ashwin losing some of his confidence, its going to hard for India to bowl Australia out twice in a test match even though Australia's batting is somewhat weak or rather inexperienced.

Posted by hycIass on (January 31, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

@Meety i take your point on Khawaja playing in the ODIs, but keep in mind that he will play only the first 2 ODIs regardless of performance as he along with Hughes will go to India early to prepare.@DylanBrah i think Khawaja will definitly be in the top 6 as Inevarity said Khawaja is a "near certainty" for the first test. Doherty and Lyon will have alot of pressure on them gien all the talk on the spinners. Haurtiz will be watching with close interest.

Posted by Ramsespd on (January 31, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

Not happy with a squad of 17, they did the same thing for the 2010-11 Ashes series and Australia was belted. Such a massive squad suggests that the selectors don't know who the best players in the country are. In this squad however there are clearly many who are not the best players. I don't like the obsession with wanting to play an allrounder for the sake of it. Henriques or Maxwell will get a baggy green long before either deserve it. Though any side with either of the Mitchell's probably needs an allrounder because on their day both are more likely to go at 5+ runs an over. Shame that Holland and Beer are injured and definitely bad luck to O'Keefe. They picked Doherty before on ODI form and it didn't work then, probably won't work now. As for Smith, give me a break. Alex Doolan is the obvious choice and has made runs against touring international sides twice from 2 games. You may say that Smith can bowl but he barely bowls for NSW so why try him at test level?

Posted by Surajdon9 on (January 31, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

Aus should push BCCI for DRS uses.If DRS will unavailable 4- 0 to Indian and DRS presence can turn it around 0-4 to India...

Posted by JoeySpiggs on (January 31, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

*sigh* moises henriques and steve smith have been picked on nothing but potential. steve smiths technique is poor enough for even the indian seamers to exploit, whilst henriques may feel like the luckiest man in the world being picked despite clear underachieving. meanwhile poor steve okeefe has to skipper his side whilst dominating with his actually threatening orthodox, whilst he watches X doherty being coached out on the field on how to "toss it up." apart from that minor debacle, i dont mind the side

Posted by Sunman81 on (January 31, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Wow...the selectors seems to have picked the squad based on the English success on Indian soil...the bowling looks very good...if Clarke can do a Cook with batting, Australian victory is assured...

But I really hope things turnaround for India and they comprehensively wins the series..

Posted by stormy16 on (January 31, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

That's as an inexperienced Aus side as ever - probably since Border took a bunch of youngsters (Waugh, Taylor and co) to Eng in the early 90's. This was always going to be the case but a tour of India is as tough as they come. The major concern would be the lack of quality spinners in the team to hold the Indian batting whcih would be in a bullish mood after the English disaster. Althought Jimmy Anderson did something with the ball there is no one in this side on par with jimmy so it'll be up to the spinners and that could be a major porblem for Aus.

Posted by bipulkumar on (January 31, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Two "out of sorts" teams playing eachother. It will be fun to watch.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 31, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

@cricksagar: There is third umpire as well who is not neutral

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 31, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

Time has passed and I'm still gutted for OKeefe. There is something personal going on here. He is the captain of his state and the best performed spinner in the country.... no-one even comes close. He averages 27 with the ball... in Australian conditions. His best bowling figures were against Sri Lankan batsmen, ie good players of spin.

Doherty isn't even a net bowler, and neither are Smith and Maxwell. Lets learn something from England in the '90's - bits and pieces places don't cut it at Test level. Doherty should be embarrassed and Inverarity should be ashamed. I know that as an Australian supporter I am.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 31, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

I guess Jeson Kreza would have been a better choice instead of Doherty/Lyon lolz. At least he can boast of an 8-wicket haul against India in an innings.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 31, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

No Queensland players from the Sheffield Shield winning team from last year in the 17-man squad. Shows you how little the NSP take performance from the shield into consideration when selecting the squad. This is further evident in selecting SLA spinner Xavier "bowling very well lately" Doherty 2 wickets @80 over SLA spinner Steve "barely even gets a mention" O'Keefe 17 wickets @24. Unreal.

Posted by MrKricket on (January 31, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

I can't say I'm full of confidence with this squad although it allows anyone who fails to be jettisoned before the Ashes which (to the selectors) is the main game - apologies to India. I guess Aus never really expects to win in India (one series in forty years?) but England is seen as winnable through past experience although I feel this is rather optimistic this time. In 2005 and 2009 Aus could have won and should have least drawn both series. This time Aus would be very happy with a drawn series. A drawn series in India would be a bonus. Steve Smith though? Really?

Posted by SDHM on (January 31, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Yadav and Anderson showed in the recent series that pace isn't completely ineffective in India; Australia may be better going in with their strength in pace bowling than relying on the likes of Maxwell & Doherty to provide wicket-taking support to Lyon. Yes, England won with two quality spinners, but 1) Australia don't have two quality spinners and 2) England were forced into it by a serious drop in the form of the seamers. The England attack that blasted India out in 2011 in England, with Broad & Bresnan at their peak, would probably have done all right in India due to their ability to reverse the ball at pace. The likes of Johnson & Starc have that in spades and would be more potent than a decent but hardly threatening second spinner I think.

Posted by Thefakebook on (January 31, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

I'm not trying to be funny here but am I the only one who thinks Smith,Maxwell and Henriques are just going for site seeing????I'll be damned if they play more than 1 test each only after OZ are 2-1 down or something.Actually Smithers got virtiually 0 chances!Stephen NJ O'Kiffe will never be picked for tests. Leading wickettaker and 29 avg. with bat what else you need to do? Xavier is gona be embarassed by Indian batters and he can't bat so what your reason Jhon?

Posted by Googly069 on (January 31, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

The CA still dont get it! An eye to the future is one thing but the important tour of India followed by back to back Ashes are about to happen now! And we need our best 11. David Hussy was a must. After being 2nd highest run scorer 2nd only to Hughes in the one day series and one of the best 1st class batsmen in the land what does he have to do to get a start. Steve O'keef is the all rounder in form. Ben Cutting not only bowls stump to stump with swing and good pace and a very handy lower order batman with a 1st class hundred to his name. all handy attributes for the sub continant as well as the English conditions. Bird had a good start but Cutting brings more to the table. There is way too much dependance in this squad of "potential" rather than performance. depending on one day/20-20 specalists isnt the right track for test cricket. In red ball bating stakes the cupboard is not overflowing but we should be using the experiance. the best 11 regaless of age should be picked.

Posted by cricksagar on (January 31, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

my dear @ mzm149...you should be more cautious to grow your cricketing knowledge before pasting some comments here.. IN TEST CRICKET NEUTRAL UMPIRES DO THEIR JOB FROM BOTH THE ENDS...I hope you are more knowledgeable now..:D

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 31, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Well it looks like Aus. selectors have spent too much time listening to Warne's rants, instead of looking for fresh meat in their own domestic yard. Doherty in tests now, based on one reasonable game out of the last 10? Sticking with batsman Wade who has the right sized hands to wear the only pair of wicket-keeping gloves Aus. has? Pattinson in test squad when he only lasts 4 overs max.?

Posted by UndertheGrill on (January 31, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

It's like the Argus Review never happened!

Posted by alchemist_sandeep on (January 31, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

very good squad for india's tour. oz can win this time as indian team is playing bad test cricket...india should go for young players rather than stick with old players like bhajji, zaheer. give chance to 1-2 u-19 winner team players....

Posted by Ayush_Chauhan on (January 31, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Good squad, and tell you what I don't see it changing much for the ODIs or the T20s. Whether its a good thing or bad, its up to you to decide. While the Australian pace battery is head and shoulders above India, the spinners is where the contest will revolve around (and Ashwin and Ojha aren't much better than Dorethy and Lyon). I believe Maxwell got picked following his performance against Sri Lanka recently. Watson and Clarke would be the crucial wickets...with Warner as a trump card.

Posted by rohanbala on (January 31, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

The absence of UDRS might play an important role in the ultimate analysis.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (January 31, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Jeez, the Aussies have piled into this selection: not much left to say! Clarke needs to bat at least 17 of the 20 days.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 31, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

2-1 in india's favor.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 31, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

The main issue for me are these three selections. Smith,Henriques and Doherty are the main concerning points. Maybe they could have got in a second keeper for Smith or someone else. I can't help but get the feeling they could have picked someone else other than Doherty as he only got picked because as someone else said days ago he is mates with the captain.(To mee O'Keefe would have been worth the punt due to the fact that Lyon hasn't been performing well of late) I guess only time will tell.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 31, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Wade's in, lol. Lyon's in, a big LOL. All the players who were thrashed in the last Ashes are in.....oh dear Australia. And all led by a hapless captain. Dark days fore aussie cricket are these.

Posted by Mervo on (January 31, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

Steve Smith! Why? What has he done? Doherty? Why? Why not Okeefe?

Posted by ashvenky on (January 31, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

If Clarke plays like Cook did then Idians will lose the series may be 2-1 again!

Posted by thesunravish on (January 31, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

This series Indians are going to have very tough time

Posted by Cooper11 on (January 31, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

My Squad for the 1st test againist India . 1. David Warner (If Fit) 2. Ed Cowan 3.Phillip Hughes 4. Michael Clarke (Captain) 5. Shane Watson 6. Glenn Maxwell 7. Matthew Wade 8. Mitchell Johnson 9. Mitchell Starc 10. Peter Siddle 11. Nathan Lyon 12th Man- James Pattinson , Then Swap the squad with a change with the middle order ( all rounders and bowlers) every game and give everyone or most of these 17 players a go.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (January 31, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

Maxwell/Smith ahead of O'Keefe... wonder what he has done or who has he offended - for these other 2 have proven time & time again that they don't have the skills to dominate Limited over Cricket let alone a test match against India in India...

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 31, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

4-0 India. Cupboard is totally bare. Enough said

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (January 31, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

Australia will have an upper hand because India is still an unsettled side, many of the players are out of form, they are in the side on the basis of past glory. Both batting and bowling are weak, Australians have a quality bowling line up, they will surely win the series.

Posted by _Australian_ on (January 31, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

I can not fathom as to why O'Keefe can't get a look in. I am with Warne. What he has said although dramatic makes more sense than the current set up and thought process. Oh how the mighty have fallen and with the current process and correctly put "muppets" in charge there is no where to land!

Posted by mzm149 on (January 31, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Australia should be cautious because in every game their crucial wickets (Clarke, Warner, Watson etc) will be taken by Indian umpires as their bowlers are not capable enough.

Having said that I wish Aussies best of luck for series win. After England now its your turn to expose Indian batting lining up at their home just like you did in Australia.

I hope Clarke again scores one or more double centuries on the visit.

Posted by jhabib on (January 31, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

Australian batsmen should prepare themselves for slow, rank turners and whole lot of drudgery. Just don't get "Bored out" on those Indian pitches.

Posted by SASANK360 on (January 31, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

All Australian fans are left confused with the squad selection because Aus selectors had some options and failed to pick them. Now its only a matter of time before Indian squad is announced and as an Indian I pray to god that I can see some new names in opening and bowling stocks. Anyway waiting eagerly and anxiously for what is going to be a closely fought series.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 31, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Agree entirely @Timmuh on (January 31 2013, 01:13 AM GMT) The preferential treatment treatment accorded to certain players (e.g. Smith) over others (e.g. O'Keefe) FROM THE SAME STATE beggars belief! Is this another Katich-Clarke thing? The problem with the guts of the team @Dashgar on (January 31 2013, 01:06 AM GMT) is that they're taking players without credentials and leaving out others who have performed and deserve a shot. What if some players fail repeatedly e.g. Cowan, Watson? Why no Rogers? Why a spinning failure in FC cricket (Doherty) ahead of a success (O'Keefe)? Better still in a squad of this size why not take them both? Answer: indecisiveness and plumping for favourites (Maxwell and Smith). Same old Hilditch clowns. Your point @Matth on (January 31 2013, 01:23 AM GMT) that Watson is only there for the first two tests combined with likely failure of Ed will reveal the stupidity of this selection of "all rounders"! Ditto your final point about Doherty and the quick men.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

@Wefinishthis on (January 31 2013, 06:00 AM GMT) - how do you get Ferguson to a batting average of 41? Where do you get Maxwell's batting ave as 24?? As for your alternate side players like Paterson & Zampa have poor sample sizes & really cannot be considered. You are basically advocating that Patterson on the back of one game in Shield cricket will average 60% MORE than Don Bradman in Test cricket? Really great thought-process - NOT!

Posted by HowdyRowdy on (January 31, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

The 17 man squad is a result of theNSP's failure to try to identify and nurture the best group of Test players, its hope that Ponting and M Hussey could eke a little further out of their careers and a foolish hope that it can pick bits and pieces 'all rounders' and turn them into Test cricketers.

At its heart, the NSP has moved away from identifying and picking the best Test team to a squad mentality.

To be fair, constant injuries have made an inherently job even harder, but part of the NSP's job includes making strong, consistent decisions.

Posted by hotcric01 on (January 31, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

Maxwell,Henriques,Smith,doherty these all seem to be very ordinary in test standards.Nathon lyon is the decisive factor.If he perfomes well with some support from pacemen AUS can win a match.Bowlers,who can win matches for AUS.not these inexperienced batsmen(except clarke).

Posted by kirangupta on (January 31, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

No reserve keeper!!!!! Crazy

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Steven Smith playing test cricket????? Hasn't CA learnt the lessons of the past. Sally an extremely poor batsmen who can't bowl. There are a lot better no.6 bats in AU. This is test cricket not 20-20.

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 31, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

@landl47. Smith has been given numerous chances at international level in all formats of the game & has failed every time. It must be obvious to all (except the NSP) that he just can't cut it at the top level. There is absolutely no justification for his selection.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 31, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

Steve O'Keefe can be played as an allrounder at no.7 or as a very handy no.8, whereas Maxwell will basically be a no.7 batsmen who provides nothing with the ball. I would rather see Khawaja come in at no.6 than see Maxwell or Henriques come in as an allrounder.

Team should be: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Watson 5. Clarke 6. Khawaja 7. Wade 8. O'Keefe 9. Starc 10. Siddle 11. Lyon - or alternatively drop Khawaja and move Wade up to 6, slot O'Keefe in at 7 and play 3 quicks and Lyon.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

@Chris_P on (January 31 2013, 02:40 AM GMT) - sorry my original reply didn't make it thru! Yep, I am going to find it hard to support the NSP on this, I don't mind Smith's selection, I feel he like SO'K are fairly well suited to Indian conditions. Like you, I am a fan of henriques, but I feel this is too soon - he needs to earn his stripes more. 3 Months ago - I didn't mind the idea of Maxwell, but I am going cold on him & he will be stuck in the ODIs missing Shield matches in the meantime. I really didn't want Khawaja selected in the ODI side, as I want him primed for India, which he won't be messing around in ODIs.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 31, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Looks like a good team. But the aussies should remember that the left arm spinner is the key to getting Indian wickets in tests. I will be very suprised if Nathan Lyon gets many wickets. An off-spinner without a good doosra is the most common bowler in India and would not be very successful. Even in the recent England series you could see the difference when Panesar played from the second test. Swann is just ok but the real differentiating factor was Panesar as Indian test team has a lot of right handers. So, if Australia need to have a chance in the Chennai and Delhi especially Doherty has to bowl really well. Second test in my home town Hyderabad would most likely go their way as the pitch has a lot of pace and bounce (soil was brought from Australia) and India have lost most of their matches here. Waiting for an even contest in the tests.

Posted by hycIass on (January 31, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

@Allan i didn't read Inevarity's comments and am pleased to hear that Khawaja is a near certainty for the first test. What about this for the first test: Warner Cowan Hughes Watson Clarke Khawaja Wade Pattinson Siddle Lyon Bird

Although I'm a bit nervous about the fitness of Watson and Pattinson. Ideally both should be playing multiple Shield games before being selected in the Test team. But with the squad being what it is I'm not sure who I'd replace them with. Pattiinson could be replaced by either Starc or Johnson I guess (with my preference being very strongly in favour of Starc), but there isn't really a batting replacement for Watson. It's really either Smith or Maxwell, and I don't see either of them being Test standard at the moment but at least Smith is averaging 40 in shield this year.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 31, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

Why Australia selected 5 fasters and only 2 spinners, have they forget that to beat India in India a team needs to play atleast 2 good spinners. So it would have been better if they Choose 4 fasters and 3 spinners. If they play fast bowlers they will not get that much sucess and may be some of the fast bowler get injured ahead of Ashes.

Posted by kearon47 on (January 31, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

I think the selectors were a little wrong. S.O'Keefe for S.Smith, J.Faulkner for M.Johnson. And Moises Henriques bowling will never be up to Test standard so South Australia's bowling attack has been superb this season so one of these 3 deserved a test tour, Mennie, Putland or Sayers. By the way I'm Victorian and English ;-)

Posted by landl47 on (January 31, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Quite a lot of commenters don't seem to have read the article and are talking about Steve Smith as an allrounder. Smith has virtually given up bowling and Inverarity explicitly says that he has been picked as a back-up batsman. In his last 10 games he's bowled 3 times and taken 0 wickets. One of those spells was for Australia because apparently no-one told George Bailey Smith isn't a bowler any more.

Smith is still only 23. He was pushed into the national side way too early, has been moved around the order, dropped, picked for occasional matches and dropped again. He has considerable talent as a batsman and is a brilliant fielder. His first-class batting average is 41.74, well above Doolan (39.16), Ferguson (35.75), Quiney (35.95), Klinger (36.89) and Marsh (35.61), all of whom have been advocated or picked as test players and are years older.

Aus doesn't have much young batting talent. Smith's one of the few who is a genuine prospect. Get off his case and let the kid develop.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

@Allan yes very encouraged to see the positive comments on Khawaja and i think India tour will be start of his renaissance. As an aside why is Johnson bowling bouncers in the nets at our second best batsman ? Surely there are better ways at practising bouncers than tagging Warner. And really the Indian tour is being used as a trial for the England tour & I don't see that as a problem. As a proponent of common sense, I would applaud the selectors for this.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (January 31, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Cricket is a game of numbers and though they don't always account for conditions and quality of opposition, I came up with a comparitive team of players left out: Rogers(bt50), Burns(bt42), Ferguson(bt41), D.Hussey(bt53), Pattinson(bt163), McDonald(bt40, bl29), Nevill(bt43), O'Keefe(bt32, bl27), Faulkner(bt27, bl23), Harris(bt18, bl24), Zampa(bt18, bl9). Now compare that to the likely starting squad: Cowan(bt33), Warner(bt45), Hughes(bt36), Watson(bt37), Clarke(bt53), Maxwell(bt24, bl34), Wade(bt43), Johnson(bt23, bl31), Starc(bt30, bl29), Siddle(bt15, bl29), Lyon(bt14, bl32). On average, my team scores 527 and concedes 224 every innings. The current Australian team scores 353 and concedes 310. Pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with our selection policies.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 5:59 GMT)

As per yesterday : Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, O Keefe/Smith, Starc/Johnson/Pattinson/Bird/Siddle, Lyon.

Have Wade but what happens if he drops another 6-catches and we are down 1-0 after 2-Tests. Just take Haddin or Paine!!!

If batsmen don't fire, you have a lot of flexibility, you can keep Henriques but I would have Cutting before Maxwell. But I think Maxwell was promised a place a few weeks back (See January 29 2013, 12:22 PM GMT "Maxwell's bowling 'better and better' - Arthur"). But in reality you only need one of the three. Send the other two off to county cricket. Maybe another batsman??

Smith is for - Lyon isn't firing and you are up 1-0 with one test to play. The replacement of Lyon with Smith allows you to bat to 11.

But if you are down 1-0 on spinning wickets and Lyon is bagging a few, O'Keefe is your best option.

The other BIG PLUS about taking O'Keefe is that he will be able to bowl to your batsmen in the nets between tests.

Posted by JesseV on (January 31, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

I think Smith is incredibly lucky to have bee selected. I would have liked Haddin or Doolan in the squad instead, as we need extra batting coverage... big time. I hope Maxwell, if given the chance proves the doubters wrong. But the squad is selected, and i wish them all the best. I just wish i had pay tv to watch what should be a great series.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

Australia's dearth of quality spin bowling has come to the fore again. I don't think Doherty and Smith (I hope he's not in for his batting) are up to test level as spin bowlers and Nathan Lyon is still developing. So it's up to our quicks again. Good luck trying to take wickets on those flat Indian featherbeds. Just keep pitching it up boys and hope for an edge!!

Posted by FAB_ALI on (January 31, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

New comers from any team always do well against India....may be that is the reason for these selections....!! Remember Jason Krejza, Ajantha mendis, Mohammed Irfan, Joe Root etc etc.... A team of any set of players will be threatening to India unless they sort out their own technical/mental flaws.

Posted by KallisTheGreatest on (January 31, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

@Shaggy076: Yeah I know mate,but I'm pretty sure except pup & Davey(if he is fit) all the other batsmen going to struggle against Indian spin.even their pace attack is more than enough to expose this batting lineup.unless pace attack fire amazingly, revenge on the cards!

Posted by PerfectTen on (January 31, 2013, 5:36 GMT)

The low confidence we find the Indians in, any Aussie team can beat them. With Yadav almost ruled out of the series, they only have Ojha to be careful against. No other bowler - except, may be, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar if picked, would trouble the talented batting line up on Indian pitches. I'm however, surprised at the exclusion of Hilfenhaus.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

@HatsforBats on (January 31 2013, 03:18 AM GMT) - I can't believe I almost hate the NSP as much as the Hilditch selectors! @ LillianThomson - LOL!!!!!! "... would be very surprised if Xavier Doherty could dismiss Ishant Sharma or Yadav. He certainly ain't going to trouble Kohli or Pujara, unless they are laughing so hard that they lose their composure." I really don't want to bag Doherty much, but I cracked up reading your comment! @smudgeon on (January 31 2013, 01:49 AM GMT) - if the NSP do have their reasons, I wish they'd come out & say so! AS @Chris_P said - Bankstown was slow & low, call me crazy - but isn't that Indian-like? @kanhairuns on (January 31 2013, 05:04 AM GMT) - its just at Test level - he has done very little with the bat for a long time & he doesn't bowl enuff to be a specialist bowler. If he does a bowl a lot - he gets injured & now he considers himself a specialist batsmen. He is worth a spot if he can bowl 10+ overs a day & ave 35+ with the bat.

Posted by greatshinwari on (January 31, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

wat they did with cameron white in the previous 4 match series in india??? they fail with their experiment,..now again they wil fail with smith and maxwell....

Posted by himohan007 on (January 31, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

I dont know why OZs are not happy with Watson Selection. Most them were after Ponting & Hussy head before India's test in Aus. But Players like Ponting,Hussy,Watson,KP,Gayle will manhandle our bowlers even though when they are in out of form. They have already created fear in our bowlers mind though the way they approach in batting. Even I don't like these players to bat against us but not in the way they like.

If u play inexperienced team our players will have more psychological here n will try to bundle them. But not against proven players

All the best to our new exciting bowlers too and love to prove me wrong.

Posted by greatshinwari on (January 31, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

very cheap selection...i think smith maxwell doherty and johnson are extra players added to the squad... they must be replaced by O'Keefe, brad haddin, ben hillfy and one more specilist batsman....wat will happen if usman khwaja fails agianest the indian bowlers....there must be a batsman who can replace him if and if he fails in the first two matches.... bailey or david hussey must be added to the squads.

Posted by trex1981 on (January 31, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

They seem to be picking players to mould into various roles, whether they are suited to them or not. Their comments on Maxwell in December showed that to be true. Presumably Smith has been picked as a batsman who can bowl a few overs, but I still think Alex Doolan should have been picked. Glenn Maxwell is doubtfully of test standard, and about all I can see him offering is a few quick runs down the order and a few overs of ineffective off-breaks. Moises Henriques is an interesting selection, he does have a decent FC record, but I would have gone with Luke Butterworth for a seamer who can bat a bit. I don't think anything more needs to be said regarding the non-selection of Steve O'Keefe...

Posted by rezmata on (January 31, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

Only 6 specialist Batsman in the entire squad?!?!?! (including Wotto - Who I think is not a test specialist. 4 of them lefties...guaranteeing Ashwin 4 wickets, given that he opens the bowling these days. WHY 4 bits an pieces all rounders? Its a negative approach by CA. They are already decided that their bowlers will toil. You gotto go hard at the fragile Indian batsman. Or the flat track bullies will torment us for mediocre containing bowling.

Posted by Saishwat on (January 31, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

...and where is Haddin? where are the batsmen? I see only seven batsmen in the squad!!! so its over... 4-0 to India!!!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 31, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

I think Steve Smith and Henriques are wastes of selections. Smith is not even a ODI player and Henriques is just beginning to be exposed to the international scene in limited-over cricket. I would have picked Haddin and Harris (if fit) or Cutting.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 31, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Henriques. Smith. Maxwell. Doherty....lolz. Seems to be more like an IPL or a BBL squad.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 31, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Like most people on shield form I cant see why Doherty is in front of O'Keefe. Of the others Henriques/Maxwell as all-rounders I would have thought you need to be good enough at one of the disciplines to get a game. Henriques has had a pretty good year but feel it is too soon for him. I would have preferred a Faulkner type player who can role out cutters as well to fill this role. As for the back-up batsman ie Smith not a lot of people putting there hand-up for this position so I would have gone with Doolan one of the better performed shield players. However, I do believe Smith is one of the better players of spin in Australia.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 31, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

As an Australian I see India winning this series, however, we could draw it which would be a fine achievement.

Posted by SherjilIslam on (January 31, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Apart from Clarke, Hughes and Starc, i don't find anybody to instill any kind of fear among the Indians. So, as an India fan i can only say best of luck Aussies.

Posted by kanhairuns on (January 31, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

I am a little surprised to see the Aussie fans so down on Watson. I have always been impressed with Watson on the occasions i have seen him bat. He may not have made the runs he was expected to make in Test cricket but I believe he is poised to have a very successful run in Test over the next 3 to 4 years. His talent is too good not to!!

Posted by 68704 on (January 31, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

I really have doubts about the batting. I think the solution might have been a pure batsman say a Doolan rather than a Steve Smith or even a Maxwell both of whom seem bitsl and pieces cricketers.Actually India does not have great spinners and I am sure the matches will be close. If you look at the recent India England series, the pace bowlers too did well. I expect the australian pace bowlers to trouble some of the Indian batsmen, especially those who are completely out of form like Sehwag and Gambhir. I really feel that Lyon may not be half as successful as Doherty. I wonder how many people making comments watched the India England series and Monty Panesar. He was bowling faster left arm spin and extremely successful. Doherty and Clarke with three seam bowlers could do the trick. Siddle, Pattinson and Staarc will do well. Cant wait for Chennai Ramanujam Sridhar

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 31, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

KallisTheGreates; You do realise there are 11 players in the team, and in a squad of 17 6 blokes wont play - If you do you would know that isnt going to be the batting line up. Stereo11 - Although Im unsure why Smith is there - What has the BBL got to do with picking a test squad? Im sure the selectors rightly ignored the BBL form.

Posted by shelts7 on (January 31, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

For the life of me I cant understand why u would pick Maxwell as a spinning all rounder when u already have Clark and Warner in the team who I think can both spin the ball as well as Maxwell. Maxwell is good in limited over cricket but no where near ready for test cricket yet. Henriques is a good choice as the seaming all rounder but if does no good in India they should look at Coulter-Niles for the ashes squad or maybe Mitch Marsh if fit.

Posted by satishchandar on (January 31, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Good squad. I think whoever you pick will be expected to beat THIS Indian team. They are currently in shambles. If Australia doesn't win the test series, they should consider it as a trashing. Even a drawn series should be a bad result for them. Especially with England winning a series now..

Posted by docbob on (January 31, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

All in all, not a bad squad. Do we really need five quicks and a medium pace all-rounder in India, though? Think Maxwell is really lucky to be there and Doolan and O'Keefe could consider themselves unlucky. And whatever happened to the NSP's stated intention of taking two wicketkeepers to both India and England? Haddin could quite capably have filled the extra batsman's role.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 31, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

I am very much encouraged with Inevarity words on Khawaja. As you guys have read he stated that he was in Canberra the other day and was very impressed with Usman's innings and sees him as a good chance of being in the first test team. Positive signs for those who have critisised the selectors of not giving Khawaja a fair go which has included myself too. I see no value in playing two off-spinners or three right-arm seamers in the same team in India, hence Starc / Johnson ahead of Bird and Maxwell nowhere near my XI unless Lyon doesn't play (which is unlikely) but i am open to guys proving me wrong with performances.

Posted by himohan007 on (January 31, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

Sir Ravinder Jadeja now has been into India Test also. If Glen Maxwell also debuts, hope we can enjoy the battle b/w both lol.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 31, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

This looks to me like a suicide note by the Australian selectors.

A 30 year old slow left-arm bowler with a Test bowling average of 102.00 and a First Class average of 44.78?

In the First Test of their away series v Pakistan and India the English lost by playing 3 quicks and 1 spinner as if they were at home. There is every indication that Australia will consign themselves to the same fate.

I would be very surprised if Xavier Doherty could dismiss Ishant Sharma or Yadav. He certainly ain't going to trouble Kohli or Pujara, unless they are laughing so hard that they lose their composure.

Somehow the people who run Australian cricket have made Shane Warne look like the Einstein of Australian cricket thinking.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (January 31, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

Smith & Maxwell are not batsmen. Watson hasnt hit a ball off the square for 12 months. I'd prefer to see a specialist batsman like Doolan. And Inverarity says he prefers Doherty to O'Keefe. You don't say? I reckon he'd prefer ME to O'Keefe & I haven't rolled my arm over for 10 years. Would it hurt to give O'Keefe one game somewhere? His lack of opportunity now seems perverse

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (January 31, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

Very excited to see Khawaja there and i think he will blaze it in India. But why is Maxwell even allowed near this squad

Hopefully this is the team they go with..

Warner Watson Hughes Khawaja Clarke Henriques Wade Siddle Pattinson Lyon Bird/Doherty

Quiney is the big ommision and we seem very short on batting depth….Bailey didn't deserve selection as he didn't put enough runs in the ODIs. . He has handled the step up in other formats, surely with him being the captain of the Australian team in other sides that he would be given a go ahead of these guys.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 31, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

As of 2:31pm Brisbane time 23 of the comments published have posted queries/concerns that O'Keefe has not been picked again.

It is a growing army of followers, what are we missing?

We will get caned here.

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 31, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

This squad has more passengers in it than a Mumbai taxi. Smith, Maxwell, Henriques, Watson. Complete waste of plane fares.

Posted by sando31 on (January 31, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

I think the series is going to be a close fought contest, and the indian curators will make it as hard as possible for the aus bos to succeed. Anyway, on batting i think the teams are on level pegging. If Clarke goes big, we'll win the series easily, however its not good at all to put all you're eggs in the one basket, and all selected batsmen have to step up and contribute to fill the hussey/ponting void. On fast bowling we are miles ahead. The key is to strike big with the new ball and get it to swing. Spin is our worry however Lyon has bowled very well when put on spinning wickets such as in Sri Lanka and West Indies( it's not right to criticise a young off spin bowler by his performances on australian pitches ok), however i think o'keefe should have been picked ahead of doherty and Maxwell and Smith shouldn't be anywhere near the test squad. However the real key is to play well as a unit and to WIN the first test at chennai, this will smash the indian spirits leaving them very weak

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 31, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

The NSP has done it again! This is truly just too hilarious and shocking for me to ridicule. But.. I'll do it anyway. Henriques. Smith. Maxwell. Doherty. Are they out of their minds? I knew it was going to fall out this way but now that I see the official squad on paper I daresay I can bare to watch the series, even if all aspects of the Indian team are less than mediocre. As someone said, SOK must have the best FC record for a spinner since warne, he averages 27, and is averaging about 24 this year with 17 wickets (from memory) and yet Doherty has taken 2 wickets at 80 odd with a career average of 44. The argus review is a farce. Rewarding performance?? The one thing I can console myself with is Usman khawaja being selected.. But of course.. That's just shattered with invers saying there will be an 'all rounder' in the team at every stage. And with their love of Watson, Usman will be the man to miss out. The selection of Steve smith and Maxwell, bluntly, is borderline catastrophic.

Posted by KallisTheGreatest on (January 31, 2013, 4:26 GMT)

Maxwell, Smith, Henriques..lol according to this batting lineup, Starc should bat at no.6 AnyWay 4-0 India

Posted by Great_Nate on (January 31, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

It is a pity to see how far Australia's batting has dropped. Other than Clarke, the list of batsman really doesn't strike much fear into oppositions these days.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

@Australian fans: Have u seen the state of the Indian test team? Irrespective of the squad Aus has chosen, I still forsee an Aus test series victory. Having said that, Doherty isn't a bad option given he did well on the tour of Sri Lanka. Not sure how his latest Sheffield record is though.

Posted by sugwas on (January 31, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Doherty & Smith are in the squad to make Lyon's bowling 'look' world class. It's a selectorial masterstroke!

Posted by kc69 on (January 31, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

I wont be surprised to see Australia play with 2 spinners(Smith and Doherty) in bowling lineup following what England tried with two attack spinners and also would prefer a genuine swing bowler(such as Henriques) rather than speed and accuracy.Selection of Smith over O Keefe was justified as he was better aware of Indian conditions(Thanks to IPL)just like Warner and Watson,however middle order of Australia(from batting order No.4 onwards) would be under pressure as they dont have players like KP,Trott,Prior,Root etc which English had during their recent win.Youngsters like Khwaja ,Hughes,Cowan and Maxwell need to up their performances if Aussies need anything close to win.

Posted by Taz66 on (January 31, 2013, 4:12 GMT)

Doherty has been picked based on his form in limited-overs cricket which is poor from the Aussie selectors. O'Keefe is the spinner that has proved himself in the Shield, and is also in very good form. Seems like the same process went through picking Maxwell as well.

Posted by darsh127 on (January 31, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

As an Indian fan, its kinda fun watching Aus and Eng fighting over who will crush india harder. LOL. 4-0, 4-0 when india visited, and 2-1 england at home and now ozz. Time will tell whether england or oz had the greater crushing of my beloved indian team. The only way the indian team will win is if the squad/ line up looks a little like this: Mukund, Rahane, Pujara, Rohit, Kohli, Dhoni, Irfan/ Jadeja, Ashwin, Ojha, Aaron and Yadav. I believe this is the best squad possible if injury is put aside.

Posted by featurewriter on (January 31, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

I would have gone Doolan over Smith. The rest of the squad is OK. I assume they're going to focus on Smith's leg-spin between now and the tour, otherwise the guy hasn't done enough to justify his position. I like Henriques, but I think Luke Butterworth is the most under-rated all-rounder in Australia.

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 31, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

steve o'keefe yet again the best left arm spinner in the country easily and one of the worlds best must be mind blown right now wondering whether he has taken too many wickets perhaps? im stunned at dohertys selection, world class and brilliant one day specialist but in no way has he demanded selection for tests. maxwell is a great selection but faulkner not being selected is baffling, his ability with the ball alone should see him as the allrounder.

Posted by Stereo11 on (January 31, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

Henriques? Steven Smith?, seriously??. Did no on watch the BBL? So you dont have to score runs to be in the Aussie team then? Can't see us winning any Ashes campaigns in the future with this selection criteria. Where are the middle order batsmen? At the moment its 3 out all out. Agree with Warne, get some ppl on the panel that know about cricket!

Posted by RJHB on (January 31, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Well you picked it, mr article writer man, good job. Doesn't mean its a good squad though. This is a test tour isn't it?? How well does Doherty go in 1st class cricket, or in his two test appearances to date? How well does he go even in limited overs cricket? Hmmm yes, taking a bowler with a rep for containing but in practice doesn't often either contain or take wickets, to the worlds best players of poor spin bowling. Cunning strategy. In a word: D.I.A.B.O.L.I.C.A.L.

Posted by cardmak on (January 31, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

Squad looks light in batting. Bowling should be fine. I am sure selectors could find a more capable middle order batsman than Smith. However, Indian bowling is not great so they may escape the torment.

Posted by fleetwood-smith on (January 31, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

The uncertainty contiinues!!

Posted by rmakim on (January 31, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

Smith. Maxwell. Henriques. Wow. Just...just wow.

Posted by GoBerries on (January 31, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

I don't have the stats, but I would guess that Steve O'Keefe would have the best first class record for a spinner in Australia over the last 5 years. He never rates a mention. Why? Do we really need Smith and Maxwell? 10 batsmen/all-rounders is over-kill. I have a really bad feeling about this tour.

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 31, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

This is one of the worst squads i have seen. How can the selection of Smith be justified (yet again) after numerous intenational failures and an average domestic season. Similarly, Maxwell has done nothing to justify his place in the side. Why does Henriques get a run when Faulkner has proven himself to be a better allrounder. Watsons form was poor before his injury & has had almost no cricket since to justify his selection. Invererity has lost all credibility.

Posted by IMKailash on (January 31, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

Squad looks good except couple of players..Maxwell and Doherty ...."we preferred Xavier Doherty to Stephen O'Keefe" Why?????

Posted by malomay on (January 31, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

I'm from Tassie......and still reckon Steve O'Keefe has been dudded. Very lucky to be there X-man. And Steve Smith....again ?.....honestly ?

Posted by Chucker1818 on (January 31, 2013, 3:31 GMT)

If consistancy and number of runs over 4-5 years count and apparently the Chairman of Selectors has noted that they really do ,then the National Selectors can't go past Maxi Klinger's consistent numbers over the period. An ideal opener with Aaron Finch,Maxy has definitely earned his selection. State player of the year in 2009 & 2010 and solid numbers in the Ryobi Cup over 5 seasons,together with leading his troops to win the One Day Final last year in Adelaide with a contribution of 80 odd must make him a highly fancied candidate. A brilliant fielder in gully,slips,or cover make him the ideal choice. It's time!!

Posted by runjoe on (January 31, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

the first seven batsman have all played first class cricket for new south wales.funny that????????

Posted by Sprojy on (January 31, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

'We preferred Xavier Doherty over SOK' and umm...could you please for once tell us why?

Posted by HatsforBats on (January 31, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

Nothing against Doherty but he has been picked in a test squad purely on short format form and the fact that he is a left handed off spinner to complement Lyon. O'Keeffe gets the shaft again. I think I hate this NSP just as much as I hated Hilditch & Neilsen. I feel sorry for Cutting but I think Henriques bowling will better suit conditions, even though he (or Smith) won't play. Maxwell has good FC stats but unfortunately I haven't seen him play that format; if he gets selected (and I have an awful feeling he will) and if his technique is still based on clearing the front hip I might just go postal. Worst of all is the scheduling! A tour starting before one finishes? This is just getting more ridiculous year by year. Oh hi West Indies, thanks for coming, yeah sorry our team captain is in India, here's our B-team.

Posted by 1st_april on (January 31, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

Why does Steve O'Keefe gets ignored all the time?.....Steve Smith might very well prove himself as a lower middle order batsman , but his bowling is abysmal , his Ashes performance , his F/C bowling avg. of 56......Maxwell might become a spinning Andrew McDonald....if Clarke fires , Australia have a better batting order than India...Australia have better fast bowlers...We can win...spin is the issue... Warner , Cowan , Hughes , Clarke(c) , Khawaja , Wade , Johnson , Bird , Pattinson ,Siddle , Lyon......Watson can slot in at No.5 if Bird gets dropped.....or Doherty/Maxwell can play instead of Bird....

Posted by RogerWaite on (January 31, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Good to see Usman back in the side and Hughes' comeback has been one of the summer's highlights. Cowan is lucky to be there and is vulnerable to spinning. Warner and Hughes should open with Usman first drop. Smith's selection is a joke. He can bat and field well but has a hideously high bowling average in first class cricket. O'Keefe is the in-form spinner and should have been chosen before Smith and Doherty (who also has another very poor first class bowling average). Maxwell is a good promising talent as well as Henriques.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

Good explanation on the selection of spinners....But Mr. Inverarity can you please explain on which basis Doherty was preferred over O' Keefe????Perhaps O'Keefe will go down as the only Aussie spinner with a decent performance right now who did not get his chances at intl level

Posted by landl47 on (January 31, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

I guess the only real surprise is that in a 17-man squad there's no room for Haddin. Even if he didn't play in a test, his experience would have been very helpful to Clarke.

I'm not sure why Aus feel that a seam-bowling allrounder is necessary in India and if so why they would take 5 front-line seamers as well. Since the only two genuine spinners they have selected will have to toss a coin for who gets to bat #10, they must presumably be thinking of a side with 5 batsmen, 2 seamers, 2 spinners and either Maxwell or Henriques (depending on the conditions) as the all-rounder with Wade batting at #6. The alternatives are to play 6, 2, 2 or 6, 3, 1 with Wade batting at #7.

Personally, I'd go for the best 6 batsmen, plus Wade, 2 seamers and 2 spinners, which leaves 3 seamers and Henriques sitting out.

And I did warn you not to be surprised if Steve Smith made the squad.

Posted by DCP1985 on (January 31, 2013, 3:01 GMT)

Bigger squads indicate the confusion among the selectors, they don't exactly know who is the right player to be in playing XI. they say it provides the flexibility it may not be true but their insecure feeling. And see this will come very good for India. India lost to England even on spin pitches because England have two world class spinners(Swann & Monty) and world class batsmen(cook, kevin,prior ) who can play spin very well. In-fact their spinners were better than Indian spin duo. But in case of Australia their leading spinner(Lyon) is just mediocre compared to swann or even our own Ashwin and you cannot speak much about their second spinner Doherty. And look at their inexperienced batting except Clarke nobody has got the temperament or technique to excel in subcontinent conditions. But at the same time Indians are also not playing well in tests so this gives Indian youngsters a better chance to settle in and vice versa. This series will be a tight contest unlike england series.

Posted by Apocalypse_EX on (January 31, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

Good one Cricket Australia. It was a simple decision to select a spinner who averages 44 or a spinner who averages 27. I would really like to know whats going on in those selector's brains.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 31, 2013, 2:53 GMT)

Im gutted! I actually feel sick. There are big problem in Australian Cricket. On form, Smith, Maxwell, and Doherty don't deserve selection and on skill Doherty definitely doesn't. Doherty has taken 119 wickets @44, OKeefe 78@27. OKeefe is the best performed spinner in the Shield this season - Doherty can't buy a wicket. This is a joke. We are going to get belted. Have they not learnt from Englands tactics over there? OKeefe must be shattered. We are consistently not picking our best side and paying for it. I'm canceling my Foxtel. I feel sick.

Posted by Nerk on (January 31, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

Not a bad squad at all. My worries are with our spinners, who will have to perform out of their skins to match the feats of Swann and Panesar, let alone Ojha and Ashwin. I would have chosen SOK over Doherty as the formers first class form deserves reward, but both are good bowlers. I am very interested to see how the batsmen go. England won the series based on discipline and (aside from a glorious knock by KP) defensive and patient batting. Australia's batsmen are to a man far more aggressive. Also, only Clarke has a proven record against spin. Warner, Hughes, Wade and Watson all perform better when the ball is coming onto them, so India shall prove a challenge. I believe it will be a close series, and I am looking forward to Test cricket at its most intense.

Posted by Peterincanada on (January 31, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

I remember 17 man squads for England tours which began towards the end of April and ended in late September with festival matches with a duration of 5 months. Since this series is about 5 weeks it seems a lot of overkill. Smith, Maxwell and Henriques to name 3 should not get anywhere near the park. I think the selection committee have lost their collective minds.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 31, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

@Meety, I had this feeling at the back of my mind that SOK would miss this gig, & sure enough, he has. Watching him last week on a low bouncing turner at the SCG (sound familiar where else these pitches are?) he bowled & batted really well, so not sure why he has missed the gig. I don't mind Doherty, but his form in fc is down. Smith's innings was a revelation to the crudeness of a couple of years ago. This guy has really done a lot of work, his T20 form is down a little, but he is a much better batsman technique wise. It will be a tough gig in India (& England) as this squad is still very much still in transitional phase.

Posted by chicko1983 on (January 31, 2013, 2:38 GMT)

Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Wade, Maxwell, Starc, Siddle, Lyon, Doherty.

Three spin options (four if you count Warner, which I would in these conditions), two quicks, and can bat down to Lyon.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 31, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

I'm a fan of Doherty and Smith in short formats, but can't quite work out why they have been chosen here. Surely O'Keeffe would be a better option, as he is a genuine spinner. Not sure what Doherty can do besides tie up an end - and Lyon can already do that pretty well. I think the batting lineup will strengthen, especially if Hughes and Warner continue to develop and score big runs (as I think they will), and Watson hits some form. Khawaja may well flower in the sub-continent, too. Sure, its a lot of ifs, but its just as possible as the doomsday scenarios so many are putting forward (or the nasty hissing sounds made by @FFL, AKA @RnWA, the fake Bradman & co.). The fastbowling is strong. A lot will depend on whether Lyon can recapture the good form of the SL tour. If he doesn't it will hard to win matches. Still, India don't have a strong team at present. A lot of uncertainties here.

Posted by oz_uk_2011 on (January 31, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

Not a bad squad at all, but I really do not understand what the selectors see in Steve Smith (and for that matter, but to a lesser extent, Henriques and Maxwell).

I understand the need for part-time spinners, especially if Australia go into the Tests with 6 specialist batsman and a keeper at 7, but really, what on earth does Alex Doolan have to do to be included in a Test squad?

By the looks of this squad, I would assume that Wade will bat at 6 and have a "bits and pieces" spinner in at 7. Maybe I am a traditionalist, but I think we'd be better suited with the former.

Posted by BenjiForsyth on (January 31, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

i dont agree with shane watson's selection. he averages 30 over the last 2 years and if hes dosent bowl i cant see the use for him. in my opinion he is highly over rated. theres only so long someone can have potential before its no longer potential and its just the inability to achieve. apparent skill is one thing, stats are another. stats dont lie.

Posted by nicko65 on (January 31, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

I feel sick in the stomach, Smith, Maxwell, Henrigues, Johnson, what has become of us, what do bits and pieces players like them offer Australian Cricket why not Faulkner, Burns, Bailey, D Hussey, Doolan, C Ferguson, T Paine, B Cutting, we may as well just hand the Indians the Border Gavaskar trophy now, can you also imagine the newspapers in England when they get wind of this squad, oh dear!!!!. I'm going for a lie down surely this is just a big nightmare and I'll wake up and it will all be good. I just want to CRY... Nicko

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 31, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

I think Steve O'Keefe has been hard done by here. I'd much rather him than maxwell in the side. Maxwell might be more useful with a bat but O'Keefe is a much much better bowler. And how does the old saying go? bowlers win matches?

Posted by Wefinishthis on (January 31, 2013, 2:09 GMT)

As I predicted, the selectors would be blinded to O'Keefe yet again, despite being amongst the best spinners in the world, let alone Australia. O'Keefe is statistically almost TWICE as good as Doherty is. I think clearly something has gone on behind the scenes that we're unaware of that is preventing him from playing for Australia. There really is just no excuse and it's really become quite a farce now. I'd swap Cowan for D.Hussey, Johnson for Harris and of course Doherty for O'Keefe and forget taking Henriques on tour (coming from a NSW supporter), he's not a good enough batsman or bowler. I doubt he'd get a game anyway. There's far too many useless allrounders (if you can even call them that) in this side. Time for the selectors to go for not applying the Argus review of rewarding performance. India can now breathe a sigh of relief that they won't be facing the SOK.

Posted by vikart on (January 31, 2013, 2:07 GMT)

Having four tests to play, a reserve wicket keeper/batsman would have been a better option. I would have gone for Brad Haddin instead of Steven Smith, knowing how good Brad play spin. Even Tim Paine would have been a better option since he did well in India last time around. Don't think Aus need both Maxwell and Smith as backup

Posted by crh8971 on (January 31, 2013, 2:05 GMT)

OK now that I have checked the current season Shield stats I was clearly wrong and they are right to choose Doherty ahead of O'Keefe. After all who wouldn't take Doherty's 2 wickets at 80 above O'Keefe's 17 at 24. And Smith? At 18th on the run scoring table with 3 50's and an average of 37. That must clearly put him ahead of Doolan who is 5th on the table with an average of 58 plus scored a great hundred against South Africa for Australia A. It must be Smith's one wicket for the season that has split the 50/50 deadlock there.

Posted by bobagorof on (January 31, 2013, 2:04 GMT)

Where oh where is Steve O'Keefe?!?!

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 31, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

Brilliant to see Khawaja get his spot back in the squad and very well deserved. But if we have decided that maxwell and Moses are the new number 7 with wade at 6 or vice versa. What does that mean?

Warner Watson/Cowan Hughes Usman Clarke Wade Moses/maxwell Johnson Siddle Bird/Xavier Lyon

That means Steve Smith is the back up batsman and Starc the back up left arm paceman and Patinson the back up right armer!!!

Gee that's a whole lot of bowlers for 4 tests!!!

What do you guys think.

Posted by Kolpak1989 on (January 31, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

Good squad. Not sure that they need Henriques in there as surely the allrounder spot will go to one of the two who offer a spin option. Smith would be my pick because he offers something different with his legbreaks.

My team for the first test, assuming a turning track, would be:

Warner Watson Hughes Khawaja Clarke Smith Wade Pattinson Doherty Lyon Bird

Posted by smudgeon on (January 31, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

...and before anyone starts jumping up and down about Doherty being a starter in India: Inverarity does add the caveat "...depending on the conditions". India is hardly the dustbowl/spinner's paradise it was pre-2000s. Slow bowlers will be required, but it may be that seamers have a little more say in this series. We'll see, eh?

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 1:52 GMT)

Most proper overseas bowlers struggle on Indian wickets, part timers/allrounders fail 99% of the time. Smith, Maxwell and Henriques will toil without reward and be cast off as failures. Completely futile taking three allrounders, should have Hauritz instead.

Posted by cricket_lover1 on (January 31, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

I will be a tough series for Aussies without Ponting and Hussey!

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 31, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

O'Keefe should have been picked, simple as that. I hope they aren't planning to use Smith as either a Test batsman or a Test all-rounder as he's neither of those. He'd be an excellent 12th man as he's easily the best fielder in the world.

I worry about O'Keefe, will he slip through the same cracks as Siddons, Lehmann (to a large extent), Love and Hodge? Typically a batsman-shaped crack, however his record (even without his useful batting) is superior to every other spinner in the country and yet if Beer was fit he'd have been ahead of O'Keefe also.

I wish our young pace attack well, and hope that they can unearth some life from the Indian tracks.

India must be, largely, licking their lips. There are crucial gaps in the squad, namely a decent spinner, the fact that Watson isn't bowling and thus we have raw all-round capabilities at best, and the huge gap left by M Hussey.

Our spinners won't perform I feel. Or more bluntly, they'll perform as badly as their records suggest they will.

Posted by hycIass on (January 31, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

Congratulations to Khawaja and Moses. But i am concerned at Inevs wording"In aiming for more depth in a bowling attack, the squad would allow for three pace bowlers, a leading spinner and Maxwell - or two pace bowlers, the two spinners and Henriques," Inverarity said. This means Invers wants Australia to go in with its 5 best test batsmen + Wade and a dodgy uncapped all-rounder, instead of its six best batsmen and Wade. This would mean either Cowan or Khawaja is 12th man which is not right, we need a solid 6 batsman to counter their spin attack and i hope Khawaja gets tones of runs in the coming ODIs and the warm up game to get himself in the top 6.

Posted by rohanbala on (January 31, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

The OZ selectors ought to have named Alex Doolan in place of Steven Smith. Smith who was projected as an all rounder, has done nothing noteworthy so far except one innings against england in the past. As far as his bowling is concerned, he is bound to be as effective as Samit Patel of England against the indian line up. The selection of Doherty and Lyon is a good one and they are most likely to shoulder the burden of a long spell in the tests.

Posted by Rotationragtags on (January 31, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

Why no Steve O'Keefe? He has the best first class record of any finger spinner in australia playing today and he can bat, doherty has a terrible first class record, they must think doherty is gonna be like panesar over there but I imagine he will be a severe dud he isn't close to panesar.

Posted by tintaman on (January 31, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

Doherty and Smith ahead of O'Keefe and....anyone are terrible choices, but the rest looks ok. I'd also have had Hilfenhaus ahead of Henriques, if he can get the ball swinging our attack becomes much more lethal in Indian conditions.

Posted by sawifan on (January 31, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

Doherty? Really? I thought the selectors were heading on the right track, but this selection is ridiculous. Doherty has been an adequate (if nothing more), ODI bowler, but this reflects him domestic OD stats. But why the selectors think a guy averaging 45 after a decade of FC cricket is going to do anything special defies logic. I think George Bailey is having too much of an influence at the moment, which is crazy considering his own place in an Aussie shirt is another case of serious conjecture. Poor O'Keefe must have said or done something wrong to someone important somewhere down the line. His consistent snubbing is beyond belief, especially given his current form and the location of our next tour. Baffling and disappointing.

Posted by RotundYellowMonkey on (January 31, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

Further, Maxwell is even more hot-headed and one-dimensional as a batsman than Cameron White and this will end in tears, if he plays unfortunately. I can't see Maxwell adding any useful contributions unless he comes in at 5/500 or something and the Indians have already given up, in which case, pick a fifth specialist bowler... and I think Watson really has to bowl, else it's a bit pointless, especially as he is one of the few who can swing the old ball and not much will happen with the new ball or off the seam ...

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 31, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

(continuing) FFL lunge is going to have a field day with these inclusions. How well exactly did doherty and smith fare against England in the ashes? They are both bordering on dreadful and are no where near our best available.

To win in India you need sheer weight of runs, and the pressure of that will cause the opposing team's downfall, and this is why the toss is so important. But even more so is how important it is to go 6-1-4, with the extra specialist bats exploiting the generally flat conditions, you never see India with any attempted all rounders in the team, all though occasionally, and very occasionally, the situation (pitch) might demand a 5-1-5 setup, but that's still all specialists an no all rounders. Henriques if anything is a bowling all rounder, only averaging 30 with the bat, but more than useful with the ball, and he is the only one of maxwell and smith who should be in the squad. But he should be used sparingly, only if the pitch looks like it needs a 5th bowler.

Posted by swamistyle on (January 31, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

No Haddin. Good. But Henriques & Smith? India will win this 4-0.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

Though the batting unit is strong, does not appear to be as strong as in the past. Thier domination will also depend upon how fast Warner recover from the fingure injury.

But bowling attack is formidable. My hunch is that Mitchell Starc will be the main weapon for destruction, though the other pacers won't lag behind. Bounce may hurt the Indian batsmen's limbs, but it is the swing which is going to get the wickets. But by February end, the swing will not be as much as you can get now. but subtle swings hurts even more, since the batsmen my not read it that well.

I am expecting 3 or even 4 slips in the initial overs. India's future stars are good in giving catching practice to slips. Why future stars, even Gambhir is an old "poke to slips" specialist.

Spin also can hurt. Looking at the way Indian batsmen could not dominate Tredwell, or even Root for that matter, Do-Herty Do Hurt Indian prospects. What a fall, from the days, Sachin used to dominate some one as great as Warne!

Posted by RotundYellowMonkey on (January 31, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

Absolutely terrible selection. Doherty bowls darts and is just a ODI container eg Jadeja/Yardy/Blackwell/Samit etc. Part-timers eg Maxwell won't do anything - can anyone imagine Raina/Rohit terrorising their teammates in the nets and blind slogging isn't going to work on the inevitable turning pitch ... Maxwell is nothing better than the usual BANG production line of white-ball sloggers/dart-bowling allrounders. As for Steve Smith, Indians never have trouble reading googlies/flippers so leggies there have to be accurate and vary their pace/flight subtly. There is a reason you never see wrist-spinning batting allrounders in the IPL etc, as Indian batsmen always pick the ball out of the hand and part-time wristies are never accurate enough to be of any use. Where is SOK? At least he can bat a bit and if things go bad he can bowl outside leg stump ....

Posted by crh8971 on (January 31, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

Oh come on! Steve Smith and Doherty? Given Smith bowls very, very few overs for NSW he is nothing more than a batsmen who bowls a bit and no-one can convince me he is in the top seven batsmen. What does Alex Doolan have to do? And Doherty has never been, is not now and will never be a test quality spinner. A first class career of 51 matches for 119 wickets at 45 just doesn't stack up. Surely Steve O'Keefe should have been an automatic selection given he has far and away the best first class record of any of the spinning candidates (78 wickets from 27 matches at 27). And I say that as a proud Victorian.

Posted by On_The_Boundary on (January 31, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

Really think O'Keefe should be there - his form has been outstanding.

And Watto should be coming in about 5 or 6. As an open he scores stacks of 50's but very few 100's - not at all ideal.

Looking forward to the test series, our Indian friends are always outstanding at home, and Tendulkar usually saves his best for Australia!

Posted by sando31 on (January 31, 2013, 1:32 GMT)

Poor squad. Replace steve Smith with Haddin and Maxwell for a bowler like harris who has a great record in batting friendly conditions such as Sri Lanka and West Indies.

Posted by Desilh on (January 31, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

Glenn Maxwell should not be in the squad at all. His bowling is not really proven at first-class level and he is at best a batting allrounder and not a front-line bowler. Steve O'Keefe is a much better selection on a like for like basis.

Doherty is also a slightly dubious selection as his first-class record is average. And his last Test match was a debacle. He has reasonable 50 over and T20 form but that seems to influence selectors far too much. Being effective in test cricket is completely different. Steve Smith's bowling is not up to scratch either so it is probably worth going for a specialist batsman such as Alex Doolan over him.

So the squad should be: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Wade, Johnson, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Starc, Henriques, Bird, O'Keefe, Doolan/Steve Smith

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 31, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

Moises Henriques is a very odd choice here. He has a poor domestic record, failed in his international call up in ODIs and T20s, and now is rewarded with a test call up? That doesn't make sense. The only rationale I can think of to justify it is that he did well in India in the Champions Trophy T20 competition and is thought of very highly in India. Fingers crossed that the selectors are right with their hunch but it seems unlikely. Glenn Maxwell is an odd choice as well, as he hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his bowling. I am pleased to see Steve Smith in the squad though as he has improved significantly lately. Hopefully Smith gets a more defined role than the last time he was in the team. I am very happy to see Doherty there, as he is the biggest spinner of the ball in Australia, and, like Stuart MacGill, I am sure will do extremely well on the subcontinent, where big spinners are the way to go. Pity O'Keefe and David Hussey were overlooked though.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

Would love to know what SO'K has done to be overlooked. Has TWICE as many wickets as the next Shield spinner, which in itself should be noteworthy enuff - but on top of a FC career that is statistically light years ahead of ALL our current spinners (way better than the former Test spinner Botha), & comparable with the recent past Test spinners in Warne & MacGill, he still gets overlooked. In ONE match he takes as many wickets as Beer has in FOUR! Maxwell's last Shield match he got a pair, SO'K is averaging 26 in the Shield with the bat. Maxwell's last bowling effort got 4 wickets - 3 were tailenders, SO'Ks last match 8 wickets with only ONE tailender! The NSP has got this badly wrong IMO!

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 31, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

This truly is pathetic. What happened to rewarding performance? Steve o'keefe is the best performed spinner this year by a country mile, Doherty has taken what, 2 wickets at an average of above 40?

I honestly just cannot find anymore hate torwards the selections right now. For inverarity to say that the only two options is to have a bits and pieces, unaccomplished, specialist fielder ('allrounder'), makes me sick. How well exactly did Samit Patel do? How well did England do with three pacers and with one spinner? (albeit we have a better pace department than England). Have we learnt anything from england's tour? They one both their games with a 6-1-4 setup. The quest for an allrounder is so incredibly pointless, kallis is a once in a generation player and Watson wasn't even that good when he was at his supposed peak. And Steven smith..... He's not in our top fifteen best batsmen, let alone his tahir like pies.

Steve smith this year is averaging batting wise somewhere in the 20's

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 31, 2013, 1:27 GMT)

Maxwell does not have the technique to be a successful Test Player, hes a very good short form batsman but he will get found out if the top order dont perform, his bowling seems to be coming along however not yet up to the standard. I am excited to see Khawaja who Mike Hussey endorsed today as his best replacement and I think this will be defining tour for Lyon, if he does well then no one can question him but it will be tough for him

Posted by here2rock on (January 31, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

It is a pretty good squad, they could win 4-0 against a poor Indian Test Match side.

Posted by Shaunharris on (January 31, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

where is o'keefe he should have been in the team ahead of Doherty

Posted by Matth on (January 31, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

cont ...

- If Maxwell plays then we can fit in 3 seamers but what evidence has there been to date that Maxwell's batting is up to it in a test match, or that his bowling will trouble anyone? Is he not an offspinner the same as Lyon? How is that adding to the team? - Steven O'Keefe must have some serious personality issues to have missed out. Not that he is a star, but he is compared to Doherty in first class cricket. For me the 11 should be Watson (Cowan for last two tests), Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, XXXXX, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Lyon Bird. (Pattinson maybe in the latter tests if he is fit enough) I just can't bring myself to type any of the number 6 options: Cowan opening and Watson down the order? Ed is just not good enough, Smith? Maxwell? Henriques? Johnson? Jesus! When Watson goes home one of these others will play. There are no other specialist batsmen on tour. How is that possible with a squad of 17?

Posted by Matth on (January 31, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

So it was all true then … 17 players implies the selectors do not know who the best team is. Send over another 5 and they can play each other. My issues:

- Watson is only there for the first two tests. Where does he play? Do they drop steady Eddy? I would but it would result in more chopping and changing. Given the number of "allrounders" picked it implies that 2 spots in the top 5 will be shared by Cowan, Watson and Khawaja. - Is Smith a batsman? He doesn't bowl any more. So does he go into that mix above? - That is all assuming they will play an "allrounder". Maxwell, Henriques or Johnson? None are good enough in my opinion. - The only way Henriques plays is to free up a 2nd spinner spot for Doherty. But when our strength is our pace bowling and we have Siddle, Starc, Bird, Pattinson, Johnson to choose from why on earth would we pick only two of these to have Doherty in the side? Have the selectors seen his first class average? Did they watch him against th English in 2010? -

Posted by Sprojy on (January 31, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

No SOK, what an absolutely mockery.

Lets take a punt on the tried and proven insufficient X-man instead of the guy with three seasons of sustained wicket taking because 'we feel he is much improved'

These selectors are going the same way as the Hilditch dark age.

Posted by kempy21 on (January 31, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

Terrible squad. What exactly does Smith offer at Test cricket? Henriques and Maxwell quite simply not up to standard in either department. Watson is not proven as a top 6 player only.

This fascination with bits and pieces cricketers just has to stop. Australian selection is being devalued by the constant selection of cricketers that don't deserve it.

The loss in India is inevitable with this squad. The next question will be - when this happens, will the current selection panel be brought to account?

Posted by nthuq on (January 31, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

Well, sounds like they're taking Khawaja but planning to not play him... This is ridiculous and reminds me of the farce that was England playing Patel ahead of a specialist batsman. As soon as a specialist bat slotted in, they had success. Admittedly Maxwell has a far superior record to Patel, albeit from fewer matches. He also has the ability to turn the game on its head with quick scores which might be important if Warner sits out. Also where is O'Keefe? He must've run over Inverarity's cat or something to still not be picked.

The team I would pick from this squad barring injury: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Siddle (Pattinson or Bird as injury cover), Starc (Johnson as injury cover), Lyon, Doherty. It's incredibly tough to pick the bowlers.

However, picking Maxwell as a second spinner and batting him at 8 isn't a bad idea either as we could use a longer batting line up. Ironically, he has the record to play as a second spinner.

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

The squad is okay EXCEPT for one glaring ommission in SO'K. Could not believe it when I first read that he was going to be picked. Other than Beer, he is the luckiest bloke on the planet!

Posted by DanTas on (January 31, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

Maxwell, tick! Steven Smith, you've got to be joking. Hilfy, get some form and wickets in Sheffield Shield and be ready for the Ashes.

Posted by skkh on (January 31, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

Maxwell in the test team is a joke. What has O'Keefe done that he continues to get the cold shoulder and the wonder boy Maxwell gets selected !!!

Posted by Timmuh on (January 31, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

None of Maxwell, Smith, Doherty or Henriques are anywhere near Test quality in any facet of the game (Smith's fielding aside). And where the hell is Steve O'Keefe? A far better bowler than any of them, and better than most with the bat. He is easily the second best available spinner (with Beer unfit, it would be a tough call between those two).

This squad just reeks of the stuff up of having the captain and coach as selectors - opeople who rareely, if ever, see a player not already in the national set-up in some way. Some reasonable and fringe limited overs players preferred ahead of prove First Class form. This squad is so bad Hilditch could have chosen it.

Its a good thing India are not at their best, or this would be one very ugly series.

Posted by Hippiantor on (January 31, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

Am stunned by the selection of Doherty. What else can O'Keefe do? And how much can Doherty underperform to not get picked. His FC record is abysmal, and ODI is average. Also by the sounds of it, the selectors are intent on playing a bits and pieces allrounder. sure I don't mind them being on tour, but they are both no way near ready for Test selection. This also means that Khawaja won't play. Sure is he isn't dominating Sheffield Shield, but he is the next best batsman with age on his side. The Steve Smith experiment never worked and I highly doubt the Maxwell and Henriques will either.

Posted by PFEL on (January 31, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

Glenn Maxwell, Xavier Doherty and No Steve O'Keefe. The joke continues.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 31, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

Glad to see Khawaja there, not sure if i would have picked both Maxwell and Smith as i would have leaned towards one of them. Khawaja surely deserves his spot and i hope both him and Hughes can get big series.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 31, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

This squad looks unsettled but when you boil it down 10 spots are solid and settled. Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Wade, allrounder, Siddle, Starc, Patto/Doherty, Lyon. Sure the bowlers will rotate a bit and we don't know if that allrounder will be Johnson, Maxwell, Henriques or Smith (or will Khawaja bat at 6) but the guts of the team is still there.

Posted by wix99 on (January 31, 2013, 1:04 GMT)

The selectors have certainly got all options covered, but this suggests to me that they really have no idea about what the optimum composition of the team should be. If the team was settled then it would only be necessary to select 14 players: the starting 11 plus a batsman, fast bowler and spin bowler in reserve.

Also questions have to be asked about the form and fitness of Shane Watson. Does he deserve to be in the team considering the lack of cricket that he has played this summer?

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (January 31, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

Hard to justify Maxwell or Doherty being their really. Doherty has 2 @ 80.00 wickets from 4 Shield matches this year. Now admittedly he hasn't bowled a lot (under 15 overs a match) because of the conditions but still. Maxwell is averaging 22.50 with the bat and is only a part timer with the ball. If you're looking for a second spinner I find it hard to see why O'Keefe wouldn't be the pick. I'm not convinced he's succeed long term at test level but he's got to be a better bet as a bowler than Maxwell or Doherty - and he's got a better batting average than Maxwell this season. And WTH is Steve Smith doing there? He's averaging 37 with the bat (0 100s) and has 1 wicket this season having bowled 15 overs in 5 Shield Matches. He's obviously now playing as a specialist batsman who might roll the arm over and he's not got the results to justify a batting spot.

Posted by RaadQ on (January 31, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

This looks like a very weak Australian side. Apart from Lyon (and maybe Doherty), the other spinning options will fail. They too will not be as successful as the English. Maxwell couldn't get into a subcontinental C side with his spin. Henriques is unable to translate his domestic form into international level because he is an average player. I can also see Cowan and Warner fail with the bat and Bird fail with the ball. Good luck to Watson, Hughes and Khawaja with the bat. Australia will not win any matches, but may get away with a draw.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 31, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

Should be an exciting series. New era of Australian cricket starting so a bit of chaotic selection isn't that much of a surprise. The English will be licking their lips, but don't you worry the Aussies are up for the fight. India is always a test, expect to see captain Clarke step up and lead the team to victory.

Posted by TimboJ on (January 31, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

I would really like to know what Steve O'Keefe has done and who he did it to.

If they're taking Doherty and Maxwell to India ahead of him, he'll never play a test match.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (January 31, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Australia, what have you done?

Posted by trex1981 on (January 31, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

I've said this before, and I will say it again: What exactly does Steve O'Keefe have to do to even get considered for selection on a tour??? Steve Smith? I really hope he's been picked as a batsman, which would be understandable given the recent retirements of Hussey & Ponting. Not sure about Doherty, but I guess they will want another specialist spinner (O'Keefe? Still no?). I'm still not sold on Maxwell either

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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